Now obviously, I understand this is a virtual impossibility at this point of the season with the trade and waiver deadlines already passed and the Orioles in a pennant race. But the fact still remains that Wieters is severely overrated in Baltimore by almost everyone including, Manager Buck Showalter. I am not going to pretend that I know more about baseball than the heads of the Orioles organization but out of any sport, baseball stats are the most relative to play on the field, which also display Weiters’ definitive struggles for someone supposed to be a face of the franchise.
My main point in the argument months ago was his lack of production at the plate; that has only gotten worse. His current batting average at .244 (all stats as of 9/11/12) ranks ninth among all catchers in the league. That doesn’t sound too bad but only 10 catchers have recorded enough At-Bats to factor into the statistic. Wieters average currently ranks 122nd among all Major Leaguers; not very impressive for a guy recently pushed into the cleanup role because of Nick Markakis’ injury.
Now to take look at the other side of the argument; I have heard how great he is defensively all season long; well that simply is not the case. Out of the 12 catchers that logged enough innings to qualify for Fielding Percentage, Wieters ranks dead last. He also leads the entire MLB with 10 errors on the season. And for those who say “nobody steals on Wieters,” he ranks only fourth among eligible catchers in Caught Stealing Percentage; trailing league leader Ryan Hanigan by over a full percentage point (.360 to .466 respectively).
The final argument I hear around Baltimore is how great he is at calling games for their young pitching staff. Well, if you take a look back to three seasons ago, the Orioles were supposed to have the 90’s Braves pitchers all coming up through the farm system at the same time. Zach Britton, Brian Matusz, Jake Arrieta, Chris Tillman and Troy Patton were all can’t miss prospects; going into next season, the organization is unsure if any will even be in the rotation. Patton is permanently in the pen and Matusz is on the fast track to join him. And Arrieta, Britton and Tillman cannot hold a roster spot in the big leagues; all being shuffled back and forth from AAA throughout the entire season.
Now a lot of their struggles are blamed on their own lack of development, but wasn’t Wieters a major part of that? Did he not come up through the minors with these young arms? I can understand giving him a pass if one or two did not pan out, but none have proven to be anything more than bullpen arms.
So here we stand, again, a few months later and I am still preaching the same thing; trade Matt Wieters. Now there is just more evidence of why he is not the building block to the future. The Orioles could pull in a hefty haul for teams close to a title but without a catcher, such as the Angels and Rangers, and need to exhaust all possibilities before next season.