Thursday, September 15, 2011

More on Wieters's power surge

Behind Jeremy Guthrie's strong start (7 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 10 K, 3 BB), the Orioles beat the Rays again last night, this time 6-2. The O's scored all of their runs via the long ball -- a line-drive solo shot by Nolan Reimold, a three-run bomb by Chris Davis, and a two-run blast by Matt Wieters.

The Wieters home run is particularly noteworthy for three reasons:

1) It was his third homer in three games, and it gives him 20 on the season. It also raises his slugging percentage to .449, which is top five among qualified catchers.

2) He hit the bomb off of Matt Moore, who many analysts and scouts consider to be the best pitching prospect in baseball.

3) It highlights just how well Wieters is hitting against left-handed pitching this season. Take a look:

vs. RH: 367 PA, .231/.283/.365
vs. LH: 133 PA, .348/.429/.696

So that's a little weird, especially since his career splits aren't that crazy.

Career vs. RH: 974 PA, .264/.325/.397
Career vs. LH: 410 PA, .267/.327/.453

Much of that jump in slugging percentage against left-handers is because of his performance this season, so it remains to be seen whether it's legitimate or sort of fluky. I'd probably lean towards fluky, especially since Wieters has a .400 BABIP against lefties and a .243 BABIP against righties this season.

Regardless, Wieters is on a roll lately, and it's never a bad thing to hit for more power.

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