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The day the baseball and fantasy world have been waiting for has come. One of baseball’s most, if not the most hyped prospect will be promoted to the majors on Friday. Baltimore catcher Matt Wieters will finally grace the big leagues with his presence.
I am lucky enough to own him in one league and I will be plugging him into my roster for Friday’s game. The hype around this kid is off the charts and God only knows if he can live up to everyone’s expectations. He has been called everything from the next Mike Piazza (but with defense) to the next Joe Mauer (with HR power…even though Mauer has 11 HR this month…but that’s not the point). Those who have seen his minor league numbers are already putting him in the Hall of Fame. Frankly, this day is something I have been waiting for all season.
Drafted 5th overall in 2007, Wieters has only been playing in Baltimore’s system since 2008. However, the offensive impact he has had has been downright staggering.
Between Single-A and Double-A in 2008, Wieters hit .355 with 27 HR and 91 RBI in 130 games. After an impressive showing, he made the jump to Triple-A to start 2009 (as we all expected) and has yet to disappoint by hitting .305 with 5 HR and 30 RBI in just 39 games. Wieters also displays discipline and patience at the plate with 102 BB in 169 career minor league games and it gives him a whopping career .438 OBP.
I will gladly be benching my current catcher, San Francisco’s Bengie Molina, in favor of Wieters. Where he will bat is unknown to me. Current catcher Greg Zaun has made camp at the bottom of the Baltimore batting order hitting 7th and 8th for most of the season (along with his .209 batting avg). The top of the Orioles’ order is set with Brian Roberts, Adam Jones, Nick Markakis, and Aubrey Huff doing a good job. So I expect Wieters just to slide into the 7th or 8th spot until he proves he can make it at the Major League level as well.
If you own him, then don’t sell him now just based on hype. I say hold onto him and wait because most people will not give you a fortune for an “unproven” rookie just yet, so you won’t get much in return anyway. Unless someone is REALLY desperate for him, then by all means sell. But personally, since I LOVE LOVE LOVE rookies, I am keeping Wieters on my team.
Wieters first game will be against Detroit and he will oppose Dontrelle Willis (1-1, 3.57 ERA). Willis has been on a nice roll as of late with only three earned runs in his last two outings.
The stage is set for this epic debut. I will be taking trade offers as soon as the game is over.