Matt Wieters, who took on the "Chosen One" role in Baltimore before he was called up in May 2009, has taken his time in actually fulfilling that role. He has been relatively disappointing, posting a .265 batting average over his two-and-a-half seasons in the big leagues. However, his last season did warrant good things to come from the O's backstop.
In a season that saw the Orioles struggle drastically thanks to their pitching, they showed a strong increase in offensive production throughout. Wieters was a large part of that, doubling his homerun total from the 2010 season from 11 to 22. Wieters started his season fairly strong, batting .270 with five homeruns and 27 RBI over the first two months. The comeuppance of the young catcher even gave him enough votes to make a showing in his first All-Star game.
Despite a slow down in production in June and July (.241, 5 HR, 7 RBI), the 25-year-old catcher made major strides in production to finish his season. In August and September, Wieters hit 12 home runs, pushing his total to the previously mentioned 22. He made his move, and without those two down months Wieters would have had a stellar season instead of just a good one. Not to mention, his season was capped off with a Gold Glove for his efforts behind the plate, which is something that he wasn't expected to excel in.
To develop a comparison, Alex Gordon of the Kansas City Royals was considered to be the next A-Rod when he was called up to the big leagues. He faltered and only mustered a .244 average combined over his first four seasons, but at times he showed flashes of being something more than just a bust. In 2011, Gordon took those flashes and put it all together, batting .303 with 23 HR and 87 RBI. He even managed to pick up a Gold Glove.
The similarities between Gordon and Wieters are impeccable and if the end results are the same, then we are looking at a breakout star in 2012. Based on the numbers and the accolades alone, Wieters will be a stalwart among the elite players sooner rather than later in MLB.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!