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Wieters Offense: Code Red?


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Matt Wieters is a stud defensively, and tonight saw two more examples of it on display. However, I was at a loss for words when noticing that his OPS is teetering around .700. As great as his defense is, that's not good folks. Even if you consider that there aren't a lot of elite offensive catchers in the game today, that's not good folks. His average keeps dropping, he's not getting on base, and I'm just at a loss to understand it. Please don't misconstrue this as a "he's a bust" or "he's a disappointment thread." I don't feel that way, but an OPS hanging around .700 is simply not going to cut it from Matt Wieters, regardless of who his peers are and whether offense is down across the league.

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What offense? He is a really bad offensive player.

No excuses for him...He just isn't that good. I want to keep saying he is young and he will get better. I want to believe Stotle, who isn't worried about him. But why should I? What signs are there?

What I want to know is how did the scouts miss what has been obvious since he first came up? Or, is his swing totally different now than what it was in college and through Bowie?

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Wieters is guessing and feeling for the ball. On the rare occasion he gets the guess right he sometimes hits the snot out of the ball. Other than that he just cant catch up to most major league fastballs on a regular basis.

I wouldnt expect any improvement. He is the way he is.

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I find it very hard to rag on a guy for being average when most of our prospects never get a whiff of average:)

Same. I just accept this is what he is, a low average 15-20 HR catcher who probably will never become much better then that. Another 5 years down the road Wieters might have a breakout season or two, but I dont expect he'll ever become a .300 hitter.

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The pitching book on Wieters is pretty simple: get ahead of him by throwing strike one. Wieters' career OPS in his at-bats after 0-1 is .544. Wieters' career OPS after 1-0 is .876.

He is a good hitter ahead in the count, and a really bad one even or behind in the count. Here's Wieters' numbers:

Career OPS Batter ahead: 1.075

Career OPS Even count: .639

Career OPS Pitcher ahead: .409

The numbers are pretty consistent again this year for Wieters:

2011 OPS Batter Ahead: 1.147

2011 OPS Even count: .512

2011 OPS Pitcher ahead: .481

Tony compared these numbers to Cesar Izturiz in an article earlier in the year. Izturis career numbers are:

Batter ahead: .739

Even count: .636

Pitcher ahead: .497

After 0-1: .534

Izturis compares favorably to Wieters even or behind in the count.

Here is a couple more examples:

Nick Markakis career OPS after 0-1: .738

Brian Roberts career OPS after 0-1: .665

Adam Jones career OPS after 0-1: .679

Matt Wieters career OPS after 0-1: .544

47% of Wieters' career at-bats have seen him fall behind 0-1 in the count. Either Wieters has got to improve his approach after 0-1, or he needs to swing at more first pitches. What he is doing now just isn't working.

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