Every team has to send at least one player to the ML All-Star Game, and if the Orioles are only afforded one, it has to be backstop Matt Wieters. He not only continues to hit with runners in scoring position, but he plays excellent defense worthy of an All Star selection.
Wieters has nailed 17 of 39 potential base stealers in addition to making a few game-changing plays at the plate that have saved the butts of the bullpen on more than one occasion. Only Adam Jones has had that type of impact, although I feel that Wieters has been more consistent.
Wieters, who inexplicably was deemed a “failure” by one baseball publication before he even began his third full season, is already living up to the hype. He has faced extreme attention even prior to the day he drew about 40,000 to Camden Yards in his MLB debut.
His offense continues to evolve. He is going to hit in the .270 to .285 range, and hopefully hit 20 home runs and drive in close to 100. He has been above average in the clutch. He had stated in spring training that he put a lot of emphasis on his offense and thus far it has paid off.
The one problem Wieters could face potentially down the line is a situation equivalent to what Minnesota’s Joe Mauer is enduing with his “leg problems.” Wieters has a similar physique to Mauer, tall and lanky. They don’t make them like Pudge Rodriguez anymore, so a new position might be necessary. That is a conversation for another day, but not one to be ignored as manager Buck Showalter (a former catcher himself) gives him the proper rest.
Suffice to say Wieters is not ready for Cooperstown. That said, his rapid development should be acknowledged for a kid who was selected in the first round and number five overall. Especially at a time when his defense is opening more eyes than his bat