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FanGraphs: Matt Wieters is Becoming Matt Wieters

Has the real Matt Wieters finally arrived?
Has the real Matt Wieters finally arrived?

I was just thinking about Matt Wieters and how happy he makes me, and I decided to take a trip over to FanGraphs to look at his most up-to-date numbers. Lo and behold, their latest article is actually about our special one.

Of course I expect you to go to FanGraphs to read the entire article, but here is some of the meat:

When examining Wieters' Fielding Independent Batting (walks, strikeouts, home runs, BABIP):

Over his first two seasons, in 887 plate appearances, Matt Wieters posted 87 walks (9.8%), 180 strikeouts (20.3%), 20 homers (2.3%) and a .317 BABIP — all leading to about a 90 wRC+. Using the minimum samples for each of the relevant stats, we find that Wieters has improved considerably. While his walk rate has decreased (to 8.4%) over the last 200 plate appearances, Wieters’ strikeout rate (17.0% over the last 150 PA) and home run rate (5.0% over last 300 PA) have both improved — with the latter showing marked improvement.

If we entertain the possibility that each of these new marks represents Wieters’ true talent, we find (via the magic of Bradley Woodrum’s Should Hit calculator, and plugging in Wieters’ career .303 BABIP) that Wieters is now no longer a slightly below-average hitter relative to the league, but rather something like a 130 wRC+ hitter. Assuming average defense at the catcher spot, a 130 wRC+ hitter is worth something like six wins (i.e. 6.0 WAR) every 650 plate appearances — a mark that fewer than 20 players are likely to reach in any given season.

Further, FanGraphs suggests that we shouldn't just write off small sample size because of Wieters' pedigree as an elite college hitter. Instead, we should expect that Wieters will continue to hit as he has begun to over his last 300 or so plate appearances, and the article ends with, "Wieters will likely end up being Matt Wieters of legend."

So there is your good news for the day.