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Baseball Digest
2009 Rookie Catchers

January/February 2010 by George Vass

The Orioles' Wieters was "anointed" to be a standout behind the plate almost from the cradle, and he didn't fall short in his first season in the big show.

Wieters, of course, was just one of the unusually large number of catchers who made their debuts in 2009. Among them were Detroit's Alex Avila, Seattle's Rob Johnson, Philadelphia's Lou Marson, Oakland's Landon Powell, Kansas City's Brayan Pena, San Francisco's Buster Posey, and the New York Mets' Omir Santos.

Wieters, 23, a switch-hitter, needed to adjust to major league pitching after being called up from the minors early in the season, but came on strong in the stretch. He batted .288 with nine HR and 44 RBI. He has been compared behind the plate to Jason Varitek, the Boston Red Sox veteran star, and one scouting report labeled him "The best position player prospect in the game."

Gary Allenson, a former catcher who managed Wieters at Norfolk, Baltimore's AAA team, was sold on the younster's talent on both offense and defense. "He's the real deal," said Allenson. "He has a nice, easy swing, times the ball, gets it on the barrel with his weight shift and the ball jumps off his bat. But what's more impressive to me is what he does behind the plate. He has very quick hands, moves around pretty good for a big guy (6'-5"), and he knows what he's doing with the pitchers. He knows how to call a game."

Some other rookie catchers also started out well, but Wieters was head of the class in 2009, and is our All-Star squad catcher.

Matt Wieters
#15 | Wieters Bio & Stats | League Awards

YR
2009
G
96
AB
354
R
35
H
102
2B
15
3B
1
HR
9
RBI
43
BB
28
K
86
SB
0
CS
0
OBP
.340
SLG
.412
OPS
.753
AVG
.288


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