You may have heard about Matt Wieters. He’s the Baltimore Orioles’ rookie catching phenom that has been the talk of many fantasy baseball circles.
However, while most everyone agrees that he has exceptional talent and potential, there has been some debate on where he should be drafted this season in fantasy baseball leagues. See ep’s warnings on Wieters here.
However, playing the devil’s advocate for a moment, here are a few other things to consider with Wieters …
First, remember back to last season. You were one of two people. Either you had Evan Longoria on your team when he burst onto the offensive stat-god scene as a rookie. If you had him on your team at that point, you had a lot to brag about. In fact, looking at Yahoo stats, many people who had Longoria made the playoffs in their respective leagues.
Now, think back a little further to the previous year. Where were you when Ryan Braun became a household name in fantasy sports circles and in newspapers? Was he on your team. Looking back, would you have acted quicker to add him if you had the opportunity?
Wieters is definitely a highly-touted prospect. Across the sports world, there have been tons of sad cases where super talents with the world in their back pockets have fizzled on impact. Just look up the name Ryan Leaf. However, there are a few super talents that make it through and contribute despite the excessive media stream about them. LeBron James is perhaps the best example from another sport. Braun and Longoria are examples from baseball. Could Wieters be next?
Everyone who saw this guy tear up the minors last year has to at least be intrigued by this guy’s talent. In fact, writers at cnnsi.com compare his skill set to that of Mark Teixeira.
Teixeira was another highly-touted rookie. Stats during his first year in the majors didn’t set the world on fire, but weren’t too shabby, either (66 runs, 26 homers and 84 RBI in 529 at-bats with Texas in 2003.)
However, consider Wieters’ position. He’s a catcher. Many say that this year’s class of fantasy catchers is deep. However, I’m one of those fantasy sports dinosaurs that will always consider the catching position shallow. Heck, last year there were two “sure-fire” stud catchers to target. By the end of the season, both Russell Martin and Victor Martinez had their respective fantasy owners on suicide watch (OK, it wasn’t that bad, but they both majorly underperformed expectations).
If Wieters somehow produced similar to Teixeira did in his first season in the majors, then he’d be a lock to be a probable top-5 catcher. Even if Wieters only produced half of Teixeira’s stat totals from last season, he’d he’d have over 16 homers, over 50 runs scored and over 60 RBI. That would put him in the top eight catchers for the season, looking at current projections for catchers heading into this season.
Yes, there is a point where Wieters is drafted too early, however, in most cases, I’d be willing to overpay for him now and to possibly be the one gloating later if/when he explodes onto the scene.