Matt Wieters
Matt Wieters
32-Year-Old CatcherC
Washington Nationals
2018 Fantasy Outlook
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. Read Past Outlooks
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$Signed a two-year, $21 million contract with the Nationals in February of 2017. Contract includes a $10.5 million player option for 2018.
Out again Monday
CWashington Nationals
September 17, 2018
Wieters remains out of the lineup Monday against the Marlins.
ANALYSIS
Wieters sits for the second straight game and the fifth game in the last nine. He appears to be slipping behind Spencer Kieboom in the pecking order.
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Batting Stats
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Minor League Game Log
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Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2016
 
 
+3%
OPS vs RHP
2018
 
 
+8%
OPS vs RHP
2017
 
 
+11%
OPS vs LHP
2016
 
 
+14%
OPS vs RHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2016vs Left .656 253 27 7 29 0 .228 .312 .344
Since 2016vs Right .674 925 85 26 114 2 .235 .297 .377
2018vs Left .621 51 4 1 1 0 .195 .353 .268
2018vs Right .673 198 17 5 24 0 .239 .310 .364
2017vs Left .687 86 8 3 13 0 .244 .302 .385
2017vs Right .619 379 35 7 39 1 .221 .285 .334
2016vs Left .645 116 15 3 15 0 .229 .302 .343
2016vs Right .733 348 33 14 51 1 .248 .303 .431
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2016
 
 
+12%
OPS at Home
2018
 
 
+30%
OPS at Home
2017
 
 
+10%
OPS at Home
2016
 
 
+8%
OPS at Home
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2016Home .711 555 59 20 84 0 .247 .309 .402
Since 2016Away .634 623 53 13 59 2 .221 .293 .341
2018Home .759 111 14 5 15 0 .253 .324 .434
2018Away .585 138 7 1 10 0 .212 .314 .271
2017Home .661 230 21 5 30 0 .246 .313 .348
2017Away .603 235 22 5 22 1 .205 .264 .340
2016Home .740 214 24 10 39 0 .245 .296 .444
2016Away .687 250 24 7 27 1 .242 .308 .379
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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.
BB/K
0.59
 
BB Rate
10.2%
 
K Rate
17.3%
 
BABIP
.253
 
ISO
.113
 
AVG
.225
 
OBP
.312
 
SLG
.338
 
OPS
.650
 
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
Games By Position
Defensive Stats
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Stats Vs Upcoming Pitchers
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
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
Day off vs. Braves
CWashington Nationals
September 15, 2018
Wieters is not in the starting nine against Atlanta on Saturday.
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On bench Thursday
CWashington Nationals
September 13, 2018
Wieters is not in the lineup Thursday against the Cubs.
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Not starting first game of doubleheader
CWashington Nationals
September 11, 2018
Wieters is not in the lineup for the first game of Tuesday's doubleheader in Philadelphia, Mark Zuckerman of MASN Sports reports.
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Takes seat for Game 2 of twin bill
CWashington Nationals
September 8, 2018
Wieters is not in the lineup for Game 2 of Saturday's doubleheader against the Cubs.
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In Saturday's lineup
CWashington Nationals
September 8, 2018
Wieters (groin) will catch and bat seventh against the Cubs during Game 1 of Saturday's twin bill, Chelsea Janes of The Washington Post reports.
ANALYSIS
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