Matt Wieters
Matt Wieters
33-Year-Old CatcherC
St. Louis Cardinals
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Purely in terms of his triple-slash line, Wieters took a step forward in 2018. In all other senses 2018 was a season to forget for the veteran catcher. Wieters entered the season with a re-tooled swing in an effort to bounce back after a tough first season in Washington. However, he hardly had a chance to utilize it before landing on the disabled list due to an oblique strain, and then he missed two months later in the season with a hamstring strain. He also missed time due to wrist, back and groin issues. When all was said and done, Wieters finished the season with a .238/.330/.374 slash line to go with eight home runs and 30 RBI in 76 games played. The 32-year-old will now enter free agency hoping to find another starting catching gig. If he does start again, Wieters will remain relevant just given how shallow the catcher position is in general. His injury issues and declining performance will hardly make him an in-demand option. Read Past Outlooks
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$Signed a one-year, minor-league contract with the Cardinals in February of 2019. Contract is worth $1.5 million at the major-league level.
Back to No. 2 role
CSt. Louis Cardinals
June 16, 2019
Wieters is out of the lineup for Sunday's game against the Mets.
As anticipated, Wieters has settled into the clear backup catcher role since Yadier Molina (thumb) returned from the 10-day injured list June 11. Molina will draw a sixth consecutive start Sunday and should shoulder one of the heavier workloads among all catchers when healthy, leaving few opportunities available for Wieters.
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Batting Stats
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Batting Order Slot Breakdown
vs Right-Handed Pitchers
vs RHP
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2017
Even Split
Since 2017vs Left .624 158 14 5 17 0 .203 .297 .326
Since 2017vs Right .667 639 58 16 75 2 .236 .299 .367
2019vs Left .059 17 0 0 0 0 .000 .059 .000
2019vs Right .890 44 5 3 10 1 .310 .318 .571
2018vs Left .705 55 6 2 4 0 .205 .364 .341
2018vs Right .703 216 18 6 26 0 .246 .321 .382
2017vs Left .687 86 8 3 13 0 .244 .302 .385
2017vs Right .619 379 35 7 39 1 .221 .285 .334
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2017
OPS at Home
OPS on Road
OPS at Home
OPS at Home
Since 2017Home .709 387 39 13 55 1 .250 .315 .394
Since 2017Away .611 410 33 8 37 1 .210 .284 .327
2019Home .564 29 2 1 5 1 .214 .207 .357
2019Away .748 32 3 2 5 0 .233 .281 .467
2018Home .830 128 16 7 20 0 .265 .344 .487
2018Away .587 143 8 1 10 0 .213 .317 .270
2017Home .661 230 21 5 30 0 .246 .313 .348
2017Away .603 235 22 5 22 1 .205 .264 .340
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Stat Review
How does Matt Wieters compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity and Barrels/PA % are benchmarked against this season's data (min 100 PA) and Hard Hit Rate is benchmarked against last season's data (min 400 PA). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • BB/K
    Walk to strikeout ratio
  • BB Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a walk.
  • K Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a strikeout.
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many of a batter’s balls in play go for hits.
  • ISO
    Isolated Power. Slugging percentage minus batting average. A computation used to measure a batter's raw power.
  • AVG
    Batting average. Hits divided by at bats.
  • OBP
    On Base Percentage. A measure of how often a batters reaches base. Roughly equal to number of times on base divided by plate appearances.
  • SLG
    Slugging Percentage. A measure of the batting productivity of a hitter. It is calculated as total bases divided by at bats.
  • OPS
    On base plus slugging. THe sum of a batter's on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
  • wOBA
    Weighted on-base average. Measures a player's overall offensive contributions per plate appearance. wOBA combines all the different aspects of hitting into one metric, weighting each of them in proportion to their actual run value.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Hard Hit Rate
    A measure of contact quality from Sports Info Solutions. This stat explains what percentage of batted balls were hit hard vs. medium or soft.
  • Barrels/PA
    The percentage of plate appearances where a batter had a batted ball classified as a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
BB Rate
K Rate
Exit Velocity
89.9 mph
Hard Hit Rate
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Additional Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
In 465 plate appearances, the switch-hitting backstop batted just .225 with a .643 OPS and 62 wRC+, easily the three lowest such marks of his career. On top of that, Wieters' 10 homers were the fewest he's hit in a season where he's played at least 100 games, as he saw a significant dip in hard-hit rate (33 to 27.4 percent) from 2016 to 2017. He did draw praise from the Nationals' pitching staff for his preparation and game management, which was reflected in the staff's 3.61 ERA with Wieters catching -- the second lowest mark among NL backstops who caught at least 600 innings. Coming off one of his worst seasons as a pro, Wieters unsurprisingly decided to exercise his player option and return to Washington for another year. Given his rapport with the pitching staff and the large amount of money he's owed in 2018, Wieters still should play a significant role for the Nationals, though consistent reps in a potent lineup can only take him so far with the declining skill set.
The 2016 plan for Wieters was to enjoy one more year in Camden Yards and hopefully have a healthy year, put up big power numbers, prove he was good enough behind the plate and get a new long-term deal this winter. Surprisingly, the defense came back quicker than the bat as Wieters looked like his old self behind the plate, but struggled to hit. He nearly posted career lows in each of the triple slash categories and his counting category totals were the lowest they have been in a full season since 2010. The power numbers come mostly from the left side while his better batting average has typically come from the right side. He was one of the best catchers on the free agent market, which helped him pick up a nice two-year, $21 million deal with the Nationals. Nationals Park is a fairly hitter-friendly environment, which could help Wieters bounce back at the plate in 2017 as the primary catcher in the nation's capital.
Wieters went under the knife for Tommy John surgery in June of 2014. There was hope that Wieters could be ready for Opening Day last year, but he did not return to the Orioles until early-June. Upon his return, Wieters was not able to catch on consecutive days. The Orioles floated a qualifying offer to Wieters and he accepted a one-year deal in the hopes that a healthy year in 2016 will give him a big payday after the season. Wieters should reabsorb his playing time and relegate Caleb Joseph to a backup role. Offensively, Wieters' strikeout rate jumped to 23.8%, the highest of his career, while his ISO dropped to .155, his lowest mark since 2010. Wieters turns 30 years old in May, so the next offseason is going to be the only chance for Wieters to land a big long-term contract. His elbow acted up again in camp, and his status for Opening Day is in jeopardy, so he should be discounted on draft day and those in one-catcher leagues might be better served grabbing a safer option.
What began as a bit of forearm soreness for Wieters in April turned into a serious elbow concern in early May, but an initial visit to the renowned Dr. James Andrews yielded good news, as surgery was not recommended at that time. However, as Wieters continued to play (exclusively at DH) and the elbow worsened, the decision was made to shut him down. Treatment and rehabilitation failed to resolve the issue in the month that followed, with Wieters' attempts to start up with throwing halted by renewed discomfort in the region, and the 28-year-old was ultimately forced to undergo Tommy John surgery on June 17. The expectation is that Wieters will be a go for spring training, and while the sample size from 2014 is small, the elbow issue didn't sap his power (career-high .192 ISO) and his contact (84.6%) and swinging-strike rates (7.7%) both improved. He did benefit from a .329 BABIP, so the .305 average should be taken with a grain of salt, but Wieters is a proven home-run commodity and will make for a strong bounce-back candidate, assuming the elbow holds up during Grapefruit League play.
Wieters is everything the Orioles hoped he would be defensively. His bat has been a different story. Wieters has not hit above a pedestrian .262 in any of his four full seasons and he sank to a .287 OBP and an 86 wRC+ in 2013. A career 18.0% line drive rate has yielded just a .283 BABIP. The good news at the plate is that Wieters seems to be good for 20 home runs annually. Wieters has better splits against left-handed pitchers, though platooning at catcher is not usually feasible in fantasy leagues. Few catchers start more games than Wieters, and he will once again be counted on to carry a heavy workload as the Orioles have little in the way of talented backups capable of pushing him for at-bats.
Wieters followed up his 22-homer outbreak by hitting 23 long balls in 2012, but his average has lagged behind expectations throughout his first three full seasons. Once donned "Joe Mauer with power," Wieters has not become the prolific hitter that many expected. His BABIP has not topped .287, but his advanced stats reveal that the reason for that may be that he is swinging at too many pitches outside of the strike zone. Wieters' 10.1 percent walk rate in 2012 is the highest in his full seasons, but it lags far behind his minor league numbers. Wieters will turn 27 in May, which will leave some fantasy players to salivate over the potential for a career year. Unless he can become more selective, Wieters will have a difficult time completely fulfilling his hype as a top prospect.
Wieters finally saw some of the power which fueled the "Matt Wieters Facts" hype around him in the minor leagues, as the switch-hitter slugged 22 home runs in 139 games in 2011. Wieters also continued to improve his contact rate, striking out in 15.2 percent his of at-bats. The lower that rate goes, the higher his batting average should reach - if he can improve his .276 BABIP, he's capable of hitting for a .280 average or better. With the power, that makes him one of the better bats available at catcher.
Wieters did not take that anticipated leap forward in 2010. In fact, he actually took a step or two in the wrong direction. He teased us with a solid stretch run in 2009, then failed to get his OPS to .700. Some owners won't be forgiving and that makes Wieters a bit of a sleeper this season. The baseball community has widely regarded him as a superstar in the making and those kinds of expectations don't simply vanish due to a disappointing year for a developing player. Wieters will be a wild card in 2011. The upside is plentiful, and it seems unlikely he will hit as poorly as he did in 2010.
There were rumors that Wieters would either walk on the Potomac River, or at the minimum part the sea when he arrived in Baltimore. While he didn't put up the Ryan Braun or Evan Longoria rookie numbers that many thought he was capable of, Wieters gave us a taste down the stretch of what he can do. The Orioles showed confidence by hitting him third in the lineup during part of September, but we don't expect him to be thrust into that role with Baltimore's youthful outfield likely taking the premium hitting spots. Don't punch his Hall of Fame ticket just yet, but Wieters has the talent to be a premium offensive threat as a catcher. Some could be eager to overdraft him, but he needs to prove himself worthy before we put him in the same tier as Joe Mauer, Victor Martinez and Brian McCann.
The Orioles made a commitment to Wieters when they signed him for a huge bonus after taking him with the fifth overall pick in the first round of the 2007 draft. Wieters didn't disappoint in 2008, quickly earning a billing as one of the top prospects in baseball while playing in High-A and Double-A. The Orioles made another commitment to Wieters when they traded Ramon Hernandez to the Reds in December. Wieters is a must-draft keeper and should be added immediately when he is called up in nearly all formats.
If you're in a minor league keeper league, go get Wieters now. It's rare to find a power-hitting catching prospect, and rarer still to see the Orioles be willing to plunk down over-slot money to land him in the draft. The fifth pick in the 2007 draft got his professional career off to a good start by hitting 283/.364/.415 in the Hawaii Winter League.
More Fantasy News
Resting Sunday
CSt. Louis Cardinals
June 9, 2019
Wieters is out of the lineup for Sunday's game against the Cubs.
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Day off Sunday
CSt. Louis Cardinals
June 2, 2019
Wieters is out of the lineup for Sunday's series finale against the Cubs.
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Homers again
CSt. Louis Cardinals
May 30, 2019
Wieters went 2-for-4 with a solo home run and two runs scored Thursday against the Phillies.
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Gets another start
CSt. Louis Cardinals
May 30, 2019
Wieters will start at catcher and bat sixth Thursday against the Phillies.
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Clubs first homer as Cardinal
CSt. Louis Cardinals
May 7, 2019
Wieters went 1-for-2 with a solo home run Tuesday against the Phillies.
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