FanPost

Singing the Praise of Wieters' Defense

Everyone on this site loves Matt Wieters, and why not? A hugely touted prospect who looks like he might finally be putting it together at the plate, gets rave reviews on his handling of our young rotation, and is one of the best defensive catchers in the game.

We've seen plenty of plays by Wieters this year and he's just looking great. I just wanted everybody to know HOW good he has been so far this year behind the plate.

It is well known that defense is the hardest aspect of the game to quantify, but there are a few areas where we can feel safe with our stats without depending on subjective sources.

So far in 2011, Wieters hasn't allowed a passed ball. Among all catchers with over 150 Inn. played, only 5 have not allowed a passed ball ( those same 5 also have not allowed a wild pitch). He also leads those 5 in innings played with 231.0, 13 more than the runner-up.

He is also dominating baserunners. Some things can never be quantified, like holding runners by fear of being cut down, but in the basestealing biz, he rules supreme. Official stats say he has 9 CS against 8 SB, which would rank him 2nd in CS% with 53%, trailing only Kurt Suzuki (13/17, 57%). A closer look, however, reveals an interesting fact: pickoffs are counted as CS for the catcher at the time. Since (obviously) the catcher has nothing to do with that, Baseball Reference also counts CS by catchers. Suzuki's CS drops to 7(!) which drops his CS% to 35%. Even though Matty also loses a CS to a pickoff, his 8/8 SB/CS is good for 50% and no one else is even close. He is also one of the least-run-on catchers (which I believe is a result of his awesomeness).

Baseball Reference's WAR (Wins Above Replacement) says Wieters has been worth 5 defensive runs so far, putting him on pace for over 22 runs of defensive value (assuming 1050 Inn., similar to last year). Even to those who don't put much weight into advanced metrics, Wieters is a consistently great fielder, and if he starts hitting a little better (like we all hope he will), he might just meet those lofty expectations of him. What's the fielding equivalent of Switch Hitting Jesus?

FanPosts are user-created content and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors of Camden Chat or SB Nation. They might, though.

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