Scouts talk about Matt Wieters
There has been a lot of discussion about what’s wrong with second-year catcher Matt Wieters, who is hitting .250 with four homers and 16 RBIs. He has hit a respectable .276 over one full season in the big leagues, but he has belted only 13 homers in 522 big-league at-bats after compiling a .343 average and 32 homers in 169 minor league games.
Here are the opinions of scouts on him and a bonus take from Orioles Hall of Fame pitcher and current broadcaster Jim Palmer.
Scout No. 1
“When he came up last year, he was really tentative and just feeling for the ball. But then I thought he locked in for the last month and I thought that would continue. And now I see him being a little tentative again and thinking too much at the plate. But everything I see about him, I think he’s going to be a good hitter who is going to hit with power. That’s going to come, but he’s still learning how to hit.”
“I’m less worried about Wieters than any of them. He’s going to be OK. He has a good approach, a good swing. You watch a young hitter in the minor leagues. They tease you a lot but they are a little crude. You can get away with it a little in the minor leagues. But in the big leagues, you won’t. A big part of it is if he is going to make adjustments. He has the physical ability and mental capacity to do it. I think he’s going to be fine. Just give him time. He had a lot of responsibility on that club and he’s basically still a rookie.”
Scout No. 2
“If I could have him on our club, I’d take him no questions asked. I think he is that good. I think he is definitely headed toward superstardom. I think it was very unfair what was done to him. He arrived and there was all this fanfare and hype. That’s part of the game, you have to sell tickets. But he is human and when he arrived he was billed like a savior on this club. You expect the guy to hit a home run every time he came to bat and that anyone that got on base better dare not steal. What you had was a young man who has not played very long thrust into a situation where you expect him to be one of the best Major League players. What they really had was a good young player playing the game and learning.”
“He is hitting down in the order right now and he’ll be hitting up a little higher later. But someone above or behind him has to be a better hitter so he is getting better pitches to hit. They don’t have to be as cautious. He is not hitting as well as you thought, but I don’t think anything is wrong with his approach. He is not getting the type of pitches to hit, quality pitches to hit. Normally that comes with protection.”
Scout No. 3
“I think Wieters is going to be a very good offensive catcher. I think he is going to be one of the top offensive catchers in the game. Wieters will reach his ceiling.”
“The level of competition is just better than he has ever faced. That’s no different than everybody else that comes up here. Do you think Wieters will be better if he keeps going out there and playing and hitting? I’ve got to think he is going to have a much better idea.”
“It’s like the analogy, when you are a kid and you first start playing with older kids and they were better and bigger and stronger. And to be any good, you have to figure it out yourself. That’s the same analogy for the big leagues. (Wieters) is going to have to figure it out and hopefully he will.”