My post on Baseball Prospectus labeling Orioles catcher Matt Wieters as one of the "most disappointing prospects of all time" was on fire yesterday and continued to simmer today. Most of you vehemently disagreed with those highly-regarded statheads making that assessment before Wieters' 25th birthday, though a few folks didn't think it was too premature.
I haven't once thought about giving up on Wieters. Of course, he needs some work at the plate; He's 24 and hasn't even played two full major-league seasons. But he has the determination and the intelligence to become a very good hitter, and I believe he will.
That being said, I respect Steven Goldman, the author of the post that got Orioles fans all riled up, for jumping off the bandwagon while it was still moving at a decent pace. If Wieters does turn out to be a bust, we should all give Baseball Prospectus props for predicting it first. So store this one away for a day 10 or 15 years from now.
Anyway, you care more about what Showalter has to say about Wieters than what I have to say, and I have no hard feelings about that. Sports Illustrated's Ben Reiter recently chatted with Showalter, and he asked him about his young catcher. Showalter said he has no complaints about Wieters, a .266 career hitter.
"I told him, you get four at-bats a night, and you make 100 or 200 decisions behind the plate," Showalter told Reiter. "You do the math. What's more important?"
Wieters got his four at-bats today against the Phillies, and he went 3-for-4 and drove in two runs.
"There's a new sheriff in town,'' Showalter told my colleague Peter Schmuck after the Orioles' 6-5 win. "He gets three hits and comes out of the game, then I look up and he's out there warming up the pitcher when a lot of guys would be in their cars already."