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When To Draft Matt Wieters

Matt Wieters is this year's Evan Longoria of 2008 and Alex Gordon of 2007.

The difference between the two prior young studs is that one massively disappointed managers while the other launched himself to second round status.

Managers in dynasty leagues are particularly in a bind. If you get Wieters, you're going to pay big, real big.

Wieters and a replacement player ranked 104th among hitters, according to Rotowire's 2009 projections and my calculations. That's sandwiched between Troy Tulowitzki and Adam Jones. The rankings are purely stat based - these are not adjusted for position security - but it gives you a rough estimate of what to expect.

Mix the hype with his big-time keeper potential and I think it's safe to give him a 20 ranking boost. I may even boost a bit more as it's better to bite early when drafting long-term keepers than miss out all together.

But then again, I like drafting young players a bit too much.

That puts Wieters right up with Russell Martin, Geovany Soto and Brian McCann. What round that will be is very dependent on each league's format, so view Wieter's green light as when these guys go.

As for AL-only leagues, none will be available.

There are fewer than 10-AL guys who separate Joe Mauer and the Martin, Soto and McCann grouping in mixed leagues. It seems aggressive to take a rookie who hasn't even played AAA ball yet just one round after the top catcher in the game, but it could be worth it, but only in dynasty formats.

If you end up with a 23-year-old catcher who's a switch-hitting No. 1 prospect who put up 25 bombs his rookie year, then you'll be plenty vindicated. If you end with this year's Alex Gordon, then, well, you have to hope 2010 will be different.

Wieters and Gordon are not mirror images though. Gordon had strike out problems in the minors. That carried over to the majors and has been the root of his struggles. Wieters on the other hand managed more walks than Ks. He also had better BB/K numbers than Longoria.

Non keeper/dynasty leagues, Wieter's risk outweighs his immediate rewards. I have him pegged at about the No. 10 catcher overall. I'd even push the 104th ranking back, simply due to risk in a position where replacements will be tough to find.