I personally don’t think that he’s a better position player prospect than Justin Upton was.
That list of comps is a great one, but it also excludes a few truly special players who moved at an incredibly fast pace – A-Rod, Upton, Griffey Jr., perhaps a few others.
I don’t think that Wieters is a better prospect than that class of players. If Wieters had been pushed to AAA for the second half of ’08, his overall line probably wouldn’t have looked quite as shiny. Obviously that’s no fault of his own and those types of decisions vary from org to org.
Comment by Jacob Jackson — January 29, 2009 @ 6:21 pm
I’d agree that he’s not A-Rod or Griffey, but I’d certainly take him over Justin Upton. Even if Upton has a slightly higher offensive upside, the difference between a C and an OF dwarfs that, I think.
Most players show a lot of growth between age 19-21. Wieters put up practically identical numbers all three years at Ga Tech. Granted, those numbers are superb…but I’m surprised that his 1.050 OPS as a freshman didn’t grow to 1.150 by the time he was a junior as he grew and matured.
Comment by Jacob Jackson — January 29, 2009 @ 6:27 pm
Good point. I’ll cop to being irrationally obsessed with Upton and the $250M contract I want the A’s to sign him to when he hits free agency at age 26 after the 2014 season. :)
Comment by Jacob Jackson — January 29, 2009 @ 6:30 pm
I noticed that Matt Weiters and Justin Smoak went to the same high school[Stratford (Goose Creek, South Carolina)] and were born 8 months apart Weiters in May ’86 and Smoak in Dec.’86, im also guessing that they played HS ball together for a few years, just imagine facing Weiters, Smoak, 3-4 in a HS game as a pitcher!
Maybe the grooming he got from his father, a former minor-leaguer who molded him into a catcher and a switch-hitter from an early age, meant that he was already nearly full-grown as a hitter by the time he got to college?
I do wonder though: How long can a 6’5″ guy last as a catcher? Though I suppose he can always move to another position, as noted by Dan Hall who coached him at GA Tech (and who also coached Jason Varitek)
Wieters seemed to be so blessed with ability that his teammates at Tech nicknamed him God after one especially heavenly performance against Miami in his freshman season, in which he put on a power display while playing pitcher, catcher and first base with equal skill. In fact, his fastball, routinely clocked in the mid-90s, and his success as the team’s closer led Hall to think that Wieters could have had a future on the mound.
Is it a bird? A plane? No, its a Pirate’s fan on a ledge.
Poor Pirates. Go Go Danny Moskos!
Comment by Human Toilet — January 29, 2009 @ 10:33 pm
After 2007, based on only his last 3 years of College, Oliver projected Wieters at 266/346/432 a 342 wOBA – well above average for a catcher. Think Ryan Doumit with twice the walks. Adding his 2008 minor league number pushes the projection to 294/373/487 373 wOBA, pretty elite numbers.
Right now I would think 340ish wOBA would be his floor, and that would still put him in the top 5 catchers offensively, but he has a chance to go way higher.
Comment by Brian Cartwright — January 29, 2009 @ 11:21 pm
Ganging up on the Pirates: Brian Bullington over B.J. Upton.
I worry about the small sample size on Wieters. Wieters has to wipe the drool off after a scout watches him, so that says something about how accurate that sample is. Still… You look at what Jay Bruce did between 2007 and 2008 in AA and AAA and you have to wonder whether Wieters is really going to translate when he reaches the big leagues. Scouts didn’t drool less over Bruce.
Comment by philosofool — January 30, 2009 @ 8:20 pm
3 years of college gives an adequate sample size which showed Wieters with a wOBA in the 340s – major league average, but quite good for a catcher.
One year in the m the minors, with a wOBA well over 400 put his projection at 370 – star level.
I say that he’ll end up somewhere between the two
Comment by Brian Cartwright — January 31, 2009 @ 12:54 am
How far behind do you all think another 22 year old catcher (Pablo Sandoval) who broke out this year in not just A+ and AA+ but MLB as well is? I am aware of what the 5 free projection systems think. Bill James and Marcel like while Chone, Oliver, and ZIPS not so much. I think the three projection systems that don’t expect much are missing the breakout and treating it too much as an aberation compared to his earlier minor league years. What are the thoughts here?
Comment by giantsrainman — January 31, 2009 @ 2:28 am
Wieters has a much much better understanding of the strikezone than Bruce did.
Jacob Jackson brought up a good sabermetric point about Wieters statistical progression in college. Usually it does rise dramatically in most prospects as experience increases and seasonal swing refinements are learned.. Given there is no rise, and I hate to put this out there, but based on his size and being immediately excellent instead of having progressive statistical increases, I have to wonder if this is a performance enhancement issue. It is something we have to honestly look at with every player now and try to determine how it will effect the projected stats. I’d like to think that he is not, and his outrageous performance thus far is due to advanced strike-zone knowledge thanks in part to years of instruction from his father. The statistical anomaly of there being no level of progression and just a consistently high flat bar of awesomeness does make me look at Wieters with maybe a little extra scrutiny, though.
“Okay, so, Hamelin and Jennings are around to remind us that he’s not a 100% mortal lock for stardom, but even including those guys, they totaled 33,620 major league at-bats and combined for a .283/.377/.501 mark. That’s an .878 OPS as a group.”
This is surprising how? The best players are going to have the most at-bats, therefore they will cancel out Hamelin and Jennings. It tells you nothing about the potential for Wieters to be a bust. Busts by definition don’t get ML at bats.
I’m not saying that Wieters will be a bust, but for a site that is dedicated to statistics, that was a very poorly crafted argument.
Comment by DavidCEisen — February 25, 2009 @ 3:31 pm
Pardon me for my ignorance (and being born in 1979), but was Jennings highly touted at the time of his rookie year? I just looked at his Baseball Cube page and can barely even remember the Donruss ’88 card they have posted there, even though it was my first set.