Will 2014 finally be the year that Matt Wieters reaches what some people believe his full potential is? Over the course of his career, the switch-hitting catcher always had power and was always considered an elite defensive catcher, but according to many, he’s been a disappointment at the plate due to a poor batting average and inconsistency.
Wieters was selected by the Baltimore Orioles fifth overall in the 2007 MLB amateur draft and exploded onto the scene in 2008, tearing the cover off the ball in both single-A and double-A. In a combined 130 minor league games during 2008, the youngster hit .355/.454/.600 with 27 homers and 91 RBIs.
However, since being called up the major leagues, Wieters has struggled to replicate those numbers. Despite blasting at least 22 home runs each year from 2011-2013, he’s never blossomed into the hitter that some people expected. His career .255/.320/.421 major league slash-line is worlds away from the numbers he posted in the minor leagues.
Wieters has gotten off to a great start at the plate in 2014. In 27 at-bats, he’s hitting .370/.370/.630 with two home runs and six RBIs. While it may be a limited sample size, it’s still a great sign for Wieters and the Orioles. If Wieters can continue to hit the baseball like he has so far this ,year he could silence some of his critics and will command an even larger payday than he is already expecting after the 2015 season, when he becomes a free agent.