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rrich46

Wieters up sooner than expected?

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The Clement / Wieters comparison is not really close. Wieters is the best catching prospect since Johnny Bench.

I realize that. I was using Clement as an example because he was a young catcher who got much hype on these boards last year, as is the case with Wieters this year. Some on here will go in depth and give much detail of a player's abilities. I guess that's what I'm looking for when asking my question in the above post.

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I only have a 3 man bench in my redraft league and I drafted Weiters. I was prepared to use Varitek as a place holder for 2 months, if necessary. An early recall would be sweet. i think we have seen a little reveral in clubs regardig the "super 2" thing. When you look at the money savings between Super 2 and not super 2 it it like the cost of middle reliever over the whole 5 years or so. I think guys like braun and longoria might not qualify super 2. But, by keeping them in the minors a few weeks they can delay a players FA year. so by keeping Weiters there until now the O's delay his FA year from 2014 to 2015. I believe that date has already past. I think we might see him within a week.

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I think guys like braun and longoria might not qualify super 2. But, by keeping them in the minors a few weeks they can delay a players FA year. so by keeping Weiters there until now the O's delay his FA year from 2014 to 2015. I believe that date has already past. I think we might see him within a week.

Longoria & Braun agreed to extensions, and therefore the Super-2 considerations became moot. And no, Braun wouldn't have qualified, as he was held back in 2007, as I recall, to avoid this problem (which probably allowed the Brew Crew to sign him to an extension after 1 season, since he was 2 years away from a big payday, not being Super-2 eligible). TB recalled Longoria early because of injury, and then signed him a week later so they wouldn't have to worry about this. So I wouldn't say it's a growing trend back yet based on those 2 examples.

Z06vette, the MILB Forums have in-depth analyses from 2008 & 2009 here and here. Since there are 2 sources that link an imminent callup, he's now fair game to discuss here - but if you want the lowdown on guys before they have an imminent callup, you can always check it out there - you'll find a hardcore section of MILB fans who have really spent time following the crown jewels (and the hidden ones) of the MILB system.

In the meantime, here are the Cole's notes (Canuck version, don't know the US version) for the discussion so far:

1. He has *supreme* skills - elite contact rates, great batting eye, and monstrous, plus-plus power. PLUS, he demonstrates both skills from *each* side. He profiles even *better* than Mark Teixeira did at the same stage of development. BP & BA both acknowledge he has no *peer ever* at the stage of his development. None. Not Mike Piazza. Not Johnny Bench.

2. He has All-Star caliber defensive skills (physically speaking - footwork, agility, arm strength and precision) - which means the only part of his game he will need to work on is game-calling at the MLB level - getting a book on guys, getting to know his pitchers, and making in-game adjustments.

3. The only reason he didn't go #1 in the MLB draft was the dreaded Boras factor (well, OK, the Rays might have wanted Price to add to their SP, but no way he was the #5 prospect - both he & Price were in a different tier of their own that draft year). To their credit, the O's signed him, and then ponied up a nice contract at the Aug. 15 deadline to get him. Price was the only guy that you could justify taking Wieters ahead of talent-wise...and I'm sure the other 3 teams that passed on Wieters regret that now.

4. The season he put up last year was historic - again, as BP/BA referenced - it was unparrallelled. And because it was at AA, which profiles well in terms of projecting MLB success, again we see why the hype is out there.

Now, factor in he's a C, and you see what the excitement is about. It's rare that prospects fulfill on the hype, but when you look at his skills, the elite D (which means he won't get subbed out), and the switch-hitting goodness at C, the excitement isn't just hype, it's justified IMO. It doesn't guarantee success right away, but then again, when you look at the C pool overall, it's easy to see why people are falling over themselves about this guy - from the time he's recalled, he could crack the top 5 (and easily the top 10) in C production, and long-term, he could easily be the top FBB C by 2010. Yes, that soon.

Hope that helps,

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Longoria & Braun agreed to extensions, and therefore the Super-2 considerations became moot. And no, Braun wouldn't have qualified, as he was held back in 2007, as I recall, to avoid this problem (which probably allowed the Brew Crew to sign him to an extension after 1 season, since he was 2 years away from a big payday, not being Super-2 eligible). TB recalled Longoria early because of injury, and then signed him a week later so they wouldn't have to worry about this. So I wouldn't say it's a growing trend back yet based on those 2 examples.

Z06vette, the MILB Forums have in-depth analyses from 2008 & 2009 here and here.

The 2008 Thread is a little better. It starts with the hype and history as of April a season ago and carries through last year's campaign. You have to dig a little for the best stuff, but it's in there and buried shallow so grab your shovel and haul as$. B)

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The 2008 Thread is a little better. It starts with the hype and history as of April a season ago and carries through last year's campaign. You have to dig a little for the best stuff, but it's in there and buried shallow so grab your shovel and haul as$.

You're right - by 2009, all the MILB regular contributors had talked him up in 2008. Point taken.

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Still, not keen on the fact that he has 9K in 24 AB after a class hike. Again, small sample and not enough to call significant. But nonetheless I'd feel a lot better about the promotion if his K ratio was in the teens and not the 30s.

I'll take it nonetheless. Maybe Toes is right and I can get Hanley or Reyes out of him. B)

This point brought up by TM shouldn't be completely dismissed. Wieters' contact rate is not currently up to Wieter's typical standards and frankly is quite poor at about 63%. Fortunately, he has maintained a Wieters-like BB rate but if I'm the Orioles, I want to see him put the ball in play more before I do anything.

I'm ready to see Wieters in Baltimore as well because I have him in a perpetual keeper league but he shouldn't be rushed. He needs to prove that he can handle AAA pitching first. Based on his past performance, I'm guessing that he'll figure it out pretty quickly but if I had to bet on it, he won't be in Baltimore by the end of April.

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From all the things I've read this guy is going to be very special. I'm curious to know how Wieters compares to Jeff Clement far as an overall hitter. It seems I remember reading a thread like this last year about Clement, and dude really struggled when he was called up. Is Wieters good enough to make an immediate impact, or do some of you expect him to struggle like many young guys do when called up?

I wrote this a year ago and tried to take on that exact topic. Wieters just has a superior bat. Fantasy owners had good reason to be excited about Clement given that he looked like an offensive catcher. He has struggled mightily and taken a step back, but so did a comparable player in my opinion in Chris Iannetta. Ianetta finally had a breakthrough somewhat last year and I expect Clement to one day "get it" and become a productive major leaguer. Wieters' bat is special though. As I say in the write-up, think Mauer with more pop. The swing is just smooth and he won't struggle with the contact issues that have plagued other slow starting catchers like Iannetta and Clement.

Tale of the Tape: Jeff Clement vs. Matt Wieters

AL Catchers of the Future

In this edition of "Tale of the Tape" we will pit the two top prospects at catcher in the American League against one another and tell you what you need to know in order to make an informed decision for your dynasty league teams. Catcher is one of the thinnest positions in baseball for the fantasy owner to have to make a tough call. Do you overspend in order to get a premium backstop? Or do you try to piece together a full-time player out of two platoon guys or hope to get that hot waiver wire add? No. You do your homework and get the next young backstop while his price is low. Just ask Geovanny Soto owners this season. These two players are the guys that you will want to target at the position for the next 10-15 seasons, so let's look at how they match up.

Jeff Clement

C Seattle Mariners

Height: 6'1" Weight: 215

Bats: Left Handed

Born: August 21st, 1983

Drafted: 1st Round by the Seattle Mariners in the 2005 amateur draft.

Minors:

  • Clement attended USC from 2003 to 2005 and established himself as the top catcher at the collegiate level. He was selected as the Pac-10 Conference All-Star three times and topped it off by winning the Johnny Bench Award as the top catcher at the college level. He finished with a .314 average and 46 homers in 636 college at-bats.

  • He was selected at number three overall in the 2005 draft and spent a limited amount of time in Low-A before making an immediate impression in Single-A by hitting .319 with six homeruns and 20 runs batted in over 113 at-bats.

  • He struggled in 2006 as he battled injuries and was sidelined for a good portion of the season with knee and elbow surgeries. The knee injury was a torn meniscus and the bone chip in the elbow was an injury that had persisted from the time he was drafted, so it was a good opportunity to clean it up. In his abbreviated season, he split time between Double-A and Triple-A while hitting .263 and a disappointing six homeruns over 82 games.

  • In 2007, Clement returned healthy and it showed as he posted a .275-20-80-76 line over 455 at-bats at Triple-A Tacoma. He earned a brief cup of coffee at the Major League level with 16 at-bats and impressed by hitting .375 with two homers.
  • This season he has absolutely destroyed the Pacific Coast League by hitting .337 with 14 homeruns, 43 RBIs, and 40 runs in only 173 at-bats. He was promoted to Seattle earlier in the season, but struggled in 48 at-bats to a .167 clip and was demoted. He has since been recalled and it looks like the job will be his for an extended look over the remainder of the season
  • Review: Clement has been recalled from Triple-A Tacoma again this week after struggling in an earlier stint. He is ready to assume a full-time role with the club at this point and he should get an extensive look for the remainder of the season at both the catcher position and as a designated hitter on days where he is not behind the plate. He is an immediate add in AL only leagues and well worth the cost in dynasty formats.
    Matt Wieters
    C Baltimore Orioles
    Height: 6'5" Weight: 230
    Bats: Switch Hitter
    Born: May 21th, 1986
    Drafted: 1st Round by the Baltimore Orioles in the 2007 amateur draft.
    Minors:
  • Wieters attended Georgia Tech University and started off pitching as well as catching for the Yellow Jackets. Given his tools with the bat, the experiment was short lived. He racked up numberous collegiate awards earning selections as an Atlantic Coast Conference All-Star in the 2005 and 2007 seasons and was selected as the 1st Team All-American Catcher in the 2006 and 2007 seasons. He was also recognized as the MVP of the Atlanta Regional in the 2006 College World Series. He finished his college career with a .359 average, 35 homeruns, 198 RBIs, and 167 runs in 704 at-bats.
  • Wieters has taken up where he left off at the college level and the professional game has appeared easy for the top prospect in the early going. He is hitting .348 at High-A Federick, with 14 homeruns, 38 RBIs, and 46 runs over 210 at-bats. He has been named the Carolina League player of the Week twice this season and appears ready for the next level. The Orioles have taken their time with him, but he is making a mockery of High-A ball at this point. Look for him to move up to Double-A soon as he has nothing left to prove in Frederick.

Review: Wieters can handle the bat and every sign points to this kid being a legit prospect that will be a fantasy asset for years to come. He was ranked as the 12th overall prospect by Baseball America coming into this season, so he is on the radar and has not disappointed this season. The Orioles are thin at catcher, but hope to take their time with the 22-year-old super prospect. He won't see the big leagues this season unless it is a very brief look in September, but look for him on your radar at some point in the middle of next season. Write the name down, remember it, and be ready to pounce when he hits the big leagues.

Fantasy Take: These are your American League catchers of the future. Clement is ready now and is the older prospect, but Wieters has the higher ceiling according to scouts due to his ability to hit for power and a high average. Think Joe Mauer with more pop. Fantasy owners will do well owning either guy and will be salivating over their potential for years to come but if you have a dynasty league and you are looking five years down the road, go with Wieters.

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You're right - by 2009, all the MILB regular contributors had talked him up in 2008. Point taken.

Well, you will undoubtedly add more player analysis than you did in the '08 thread. But this year has been much talk about the call-up and all those complicated baseball personnel rules. B) I can only follow that stuff for so long before my eyes glaze over I start thinking of Elle McPherson's appearance in the movie "Sirens".

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Longoria & Braun agreed to extensions, and therefore the Super-2 considerations became moot. And no, Braun wouldn't have qualified, as he was held back in 2007, as I recall, to avoid this problem (which probably allowed the Brew Crew to sign him to an extension after 1 season, since he was 2 years away from a big payday, not being Super-2 eligible). TB recalled Longoria early because of injury, and then signed him a week later so they wouldn't have to worry about this. So I wouldn't say it's a growing trend back yet based on those 2 examples.

Z06vette, the MILB Forums have in-depth analyses from 2008 & 2009 here and here. Since there are 2 sources that link an imminent callup, he's now fair game to discuss here - but if you want the lowdown on guys before they have an imminent callup, you can always check it out there - you'll find a hardcore section of MILB fans who have really spent time following the crown jewels (and the hidden ones) of the MILB system.

In the meantime, here are the Cole's notes (Canuck version, don't know the US version) for the discussion so far:

1. He has *supreme* skills - elite contact rates, great batting eye, and monstrous, plus-plus power. PLUS, he demonstrates both skills from *each* side. He profiles even *better* than Mark Teixeira did at the same stage of development. BP & BA both acknowledge he has no *peer ever* at the stage of his development. None. Not Mike Piazza. Not Johnny Bench.

2. He has All-Star caliber defensive skills (physically speaking - footwork, agility, arm strength and precision) - which means the only part of his game he will need to work on is game-calling at the MLB level - getting a book on guys, getting to know his pitchers, and making in-game adjustments.

3. The only reason he didn't go #1 in the MLB draft was the dreaded Boras factor (well, OK, the Rays might have wanted Price to add to their SP, but no way he was the #5 prospect - both he & Price were in a different tier of their own that draft year). To their credit, the O's signed him, and then ponied up a nice contract at the Aug. 15 deadline to get him. Price was the only guy that you could justify taking Wieters ahead of talent-wise...and I'm sure the other 3 teams that passed on Wieters regret that now.

4. The season he put up last year was historic - again, as BP/BA referenced - it was unparrallelled. And because it was at AA, which profiles well in terms of projecting MLB success, again we see why the hype is out there.

Now, factor in he's a C, and you see what the excitement is about. It's rare that prospects fulfill on the hype, but when you look at his skills, the elite D (which means he won't get subbed out), and the switch-hitting goodness at C, the excitement isn't just hype, it's justified IMO. It doesn't guarantee success right away, but then again, when you look at the C pool overall, it's easy to see why people are falling over themselves about this guy - from the time he's recalled, he could crack the top 5 (and easily the top 10) in C production, and long-term, he could easily be the top FBB C by 2010. Yes, that soon.

Hope that helps,

This post and Czar's comparison of Clement and Wieters was exactly what I was looking for. I was hoping you two would respond. Thanks!

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This is great news. I've been playing this game for a long time, and I've never liked a prospect so much. He's a catcher that can hit like a 1B, whats not to love? I own him in 4/6 leagues this year and just sent out offers in the other two. He will be a top 3 catcher this season, and have a good shot at still finishing #1.

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Zaun has been playing well both offensively and defensively relatively speaking. How much time behind the plate does Wieters get early? I think Zaun plays in a 50/50 split early, and Zaun goes down to 1-2 starts a week if Wieters plays well. Does Wieters get ABs at DH in that line up?

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Zaun has been playing well both offensively and defensively relatively speaking. How much time behind the plate does Wieters get early? I think Zaun plays in a 50/50 split early, and Zaun goes down to 1-2 starts a week if Wieters plays well. Does Wieters get ABs at DH in that line up?

Zaun is hitting .118. He won't be cutting into Wieters PT. I expect Wieters to get as many AB from the time he gets called up as any catcher in baseball.

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Two points:

1. If they call him up, they're going to play him. There is no point served by having him sit on the bench and use up service time. As TM alluded to, he has still a few areas that could use work, albeit they're like specks on a Ferrarri right now prospect-wise. But, he needs regular AB's. And frankly, if the O's want to be contenders in 2011 onwards (which I think is realistic if they get can get 2 out of Tillman/Matusz/Arrieta to step up and provide 180 IP by then), they need Wieters to develop his game-calling skills and getting to know the league.

2. Unless he gets called up very soon (which might happen), he could be a top 5 C. But, if he goes the mid-May routine, there is *no* way he's a top 3 C, or even top C for the entire season. I'd love to be proven wrong, as I am a happy dynasty league Wieters owner, but the burden of catching, 1st-year adjustment and the ground he'd have to makeup, I can't see it. Need to add some balance to the love he's getting from others. What I said earlier - top 5 from the *time he gets called up*, not for the entire year because of the make-up involved. So, if the call-up is soon, it's possible. But if it's Mid-May? Sorry, can't see that happening if you look at 2009 in total.

(And remember, I love the guy, but I'm trying to be realistic here for 2009. But from 2010 onwards, the sky is the limit on him. )

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Weiters will come out swinging when he gets the call.

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I feel kind of silly that I didn't know more about Wieters than I do. He and another great prospect named Justin Smoak are from Goose Creek, SC, My neck of the woods…. B)

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I think it's unfair to compare Wieters to Clement because Clement was never regarded as the outright #1 prospect going into any MLB season.

Wieters has had more impressive MLB numbers and was regarded as the #1 prospect bar none across the board.

I don't know...maybe we could be looking at another Delmon Young, but I'd like to think not. Who knows, it's really hard to tell, but I'm going based off percentages. I like the chance of Wieters making it (very unscientific...I know).

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I feel kind of silly that I didn't know more about Wieters than I do. He and another great prospect named Justin Smoak are from Goose Creek, SC, My neck of the woods…. B)

I played against both in legion ball during high school. It's a shame that Clemson didn't see enough potential Matt Wieters to recruit him hard from the start. Jack Leggett was too busy recruiting 5'7 midgets from Maine and Washington to notice the future hall of fame catcher in his backyard.

Charleston's put out some ball players here lately. Reece Havens has been pretty well touted with the Mets, too.

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Zaun has been playing well both offensively and defensively relatively speaking. How much time behind the plate does Wieters get early? I think Zaun plays in a 50/50 split early, and Zaun goes down to 1-2 starts a week if Wieters plays well. Does Wieters get ABs at DH in that line up?

My guess is that for every 5 games, he'll catch 3, DH 1, and sit 1, giving Zaun 2 games to catch. They want him to play, but they're going to want to ease him into it. Catching is the most demanding everyday position, both mentally and physically and they have nothing to gain by rushing him into it.

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David Stockstill, the Orioles' director of player development, estimates that it will be another day or two before catcher Matt Wieters returns to Triple-A Norfolk's lineup.

Wieters left Friday's game in the first inning after suffering a mild hamstring strain. He cut short Saturday's batting practice session because of the discomfort, but his condition was "much improved" when he reported to Harbor Park yesterday, according to Stockstill.

"We're still looking at another day or two," Stockstill said. "It could possibly be tomorrow. I don't believe it'll be today. But he feels good and is moving forward."

Hopefully, without a pronounced limp.

MASN

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2. Unless he gets called up very soon (which might happen), he could be a top 5 C. But, if he goes the mid-May routine, there is *no* way he's a top 3 C, or even top C for the entire season. I'd love to be proven wrong, as I am a happy dynasty league Wieters owner, but the burden of catching, 1st-year adjustment and the ground he'd have to makeup, I can't see it. Need to add some balance to the love he's getting from others. What I said earlier - top 5 from the *time he gets called up*, not for the entire year because of the make-up involved. So, if the call-up is soon, it's possible. But if it's Mid-May? Sorry, can't see that happening if you look at 2009 in total.

(And remember, I love the guy, but I'm trying to be realistic here for 2009. But from 2010 onwards, the sky is the limit on him. )

Normally I would agree, but the top catchers are not exactly raking so far this year. With Mauer out, and McCann, Soto and Martin really struggling, the hurdle may not be that high. Only VMart is off to a good start among the top C's. If Wieters hits from the start, he could still be top 3 even this year.

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Normally I would agree, but the top catchers are not exactly raking so far this year. With Mauer out, and McCann, Soto and Martin really struggling, the hurdle may not be that high. Only VMart is off to a good start among the top C's. If Wieters hits from the start, he could still be top 3 even this year.

Actually, that's an excellent point. I would point out some C's are still off to good starts besides V-Mart (Posada, Napoli), and if they keep up the pace for the entire season, 6 weeks is just a lot of ground to make up.

As I said before, I'd love to proven wrong here - but as been referenced before, sometimes the expectations get unrealistic, even for talents as supreme as Wieters. I'm trying to provide some balance here - but long-term, I think we can all agree the sky's the limit, and the long-term isn't that far off (2010 is my call).

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Weiters can turn Budweiser into Guiness,Coors Lite into Stella Artois...mmm...thirsty!

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