Matt Wieters Will Be Just Fine

When looking at Matt Wieters’ season compared to his past two, the only glaring difference is an extraordinarily low BABIP. He still has seven home runs, so the power is obviously there. His ISO is .192 compared to .186 and .188 in the last two seasons respectively. His walk rate is 9.1% compared to a career average of 9.0, and his strikeout rate is 18.8% compared to a career average of 18.5%.

Nothing looks wrong with Wieters at this point, but his wRC+ is 25 points lower than last year’s total. This is mostly derived from his BABIP dropping from a still meager .274 to .235. If he rights that ship, he is back to the Wieters of old and a high quality catching option in any fantasy league.

Nobody is drafting Wieters for his average or his OBP, but his power numbers in a now high powered offense are a hot commodity, so if an owner is feeling slightly down on Wieters now would be a great time to grab the switch-hitting catcher. In terms of RBI among qualified catchers, which we all know is not a great stat but is counted in nearly every league and is dependent largely upon your spot in the batting order, Wieters ranks fourth and is just five RBI away from the league lead. That’s what happens when you bat directly behind four high quality hitters.

In my opinion, I have no different feelings towards Wieters than I did at the beginning of the season. If you look at ZiPS projections for his end of season total, he has 22 home runs and 83 RBI with a .243 average. Last year he finished with 23 home runs, 83 RBI and a .249 average. There really is no reason to let his low OBP and low average change ones point of view on him. In terms of expectations, there may be no more catcher in the league in which you can peg an end of season total on more consistently than Wieters. One of the surrounding issues with Wieters is the improved position in itself. We know what to expect out of Wieters, which has tremendous value in and of itself, but guys like Wilin Rosario and J.P. Arencibia are knocking on the door or hopping over Wieters in terms of fantasy value at this time.

Consistency and predictability helps win in fantasy. Wieters is a guy I want to look to grab at his lowest point, and he does not have many of them. If a potential trade partner is willing to move him at this point, grab him as soon as possible.




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Ben Duronio writes for Capitol Avenue Club, FanGraphs, and does the Sports Illustrated Power Rankings. Follow Ben on twitter @Ben_Duronio.

10 Responses to “Matt Wieters Will Be Just Fine”

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  1. Tom says:

    I have both Wieters and Molina. I have to move one, so which would you recommend?

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  2. reading_steiner says:

    Wieters sucks against right handed pitching.

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  3. everdiso says:

    Career:

    M.Wieters (27): 2207pa, 9.0bb%, 18.5k%, .289babip, .257/.325/.420/.745, .325woba, 98wRC+

    Wieters is what he is, IMO – a middling bat who plays good defense at a key position.

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    • Josh M says:

      thats a little harsh, he may be middling when compared to other position players but amongst catches he is still in the top tier easily.

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  4. Bret says:

    The first issue is comparing him this year to other years in his career. He has never been nearly what was projected of him even in other years. He was a big way away from being the 2009 preseason prospect before this season.

    The second issue is when you watch him every day like I do – his BABIP will never be great because he is the slowest person in baseball and he rolls over groundballs to 2B constantly. He doesn’t hit rockets right at people. Unlikely his BABIP remains quite this low but from what I’ve seen he hasn’t been “unlucky”.

    Very frustrating that he hasn’t gotten in better in his prime. Very frustrating that everyone said he was can’t miss and everyone was wrong.

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    • kingoriole says:

      If you think Weiters was a “miss” then you don’t understand baseball or at the wrong site. Among catchers he’s 5th in WAR 2010-2013. He’s second in WAR 2011-2013. He is EASILY the best defender over those years. The projections were high on his bat but low on his glove. He’s an all-star. Enjoy the fact we drafted and developed an f’n all-star. Remember when Calvin Pickering was our best position prospect??

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      • Bret says:

        I don’t recall Calvin Pickering being the top prospect in baseball as Wieters was.

        You are using the argument a lot of other people make which takes out his talent, his prospect status, his draft position and his progression. I’m not saying he stinks, I’m saying he is an average to slightly above average player. He was supposed to be very good to great. He isn’t.

        If draft position doesn’t matter then 50th round picks would be just as valuable as 1st round picks. My biggest issue is he has gotten no better in the past 4 years and that he wants a huge contract and hasn’t earned it. I’d rather give that money to Davis who has gotten much better and who has earned it.

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  5. TD says:

    What about Miguel Montero or Jonathan Lucroy, what’s their status moving forward? I’m sitting on Russell Martin, who has been ok, but wondering whether to make the switch to take advantage of their inevitable regression to the mean.

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  6. nilbog44 says:

    I saw the title of this article and just had to chime in. No. He will not be fine in fantasy. He will be good at defense (who cares) but he is a lousy hitter.

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