Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wieters hitting for more power

In a 4-2 Orioles win last night, Matt Wieters hit the go-ahead, two-run home run in the eighth inning. That blast gave him 19 homers for the season; his previous season-high was 11 last year.

Wieters is often criticized for not being an absolute force at the plate. As a tremendous defensive catcher, he's still quite valuable as an average to above-average hitter, but he hasn't developed into more than that. Wieters is only 25, so maybe it's just taking him a little longer to transform into the hitter many scouts thought he'd be.

Here's what he's accomplished in three seasons (made his debut in late May in 2009, and obviously the 2011 season isn't finished yet):

2009: 385 PA, .288/.340/.412
2010: 502 PA, .249/.319/.377
2011: 500 PA, .260/.322/.440

Not a huge increase from 2009 to 2011, but his numbers this season are way better than his 2010 stats. His power numbers have jumped, which is impressive, but he's still not getting on base as much as he should. That he's walking only 8 percent of the time (8.3 percent for his career) is rather shocking with the batting eye he possesses, but he also has a tendency to chase pitches out of the zone (33.4 percent) and is also swinging at more pitches in general (48.3 percent) than he did in his two previous seasons.

This post wasn't mean to be a breakdown of Wieters's 2011 season. Maybe that's something I'll work on after the season. But it's still worth noting that he's made a few improvements at the plate, though he still has to get better in other key areas (like, you know, getting on base more often). How's that for in-depth analysis?

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