When looking at Matt Wieters’ season compared to his past two, the only glaring difference is an extraordinarily low BABIP. He still has seven home runs, so the power is obviously there. His ISO is .192 compared to .186 and .188 in the last two seasons respectively. His walk rate is 9.1% compared to a career average of 9.0, and his strikeout rate is 18.8% compared to a career average of 18.5%.
Nothing looks wrong with Wieters at this point, but his wRC+ is 25 points lower than last year’s total. This is mostly derived from his BABIP dropping from a still meager .274 to .235. If he rights that ship, he is back to the Wieters of old and a high quality catching option in any fantasy league.
Nobody is drafting Wieters for his average or his OBP, but his power numbers in a now high powered offense are a hot commodity, so if an owner is feeling slightly down on Wieters now would be a great time to grab the switch-hitting catcher. In terms of RBI among qualified catchers, which we all know is not a great stat but is counted in nearly every league and is dependent largely upon your spot in the batting order, Wieters ranks fourth and is just five RBI away from the league lead. That’s what happens when you bat directly behind four high quality hitters.
In my opinion, I have no different feelings towards Wieters than I did at the beginning of the season. If you look at ZiPS projections for his end of season total, he has 22 home runs and 83 RBI with a .243 average. Last year he finished with 23 home runs, 83 RBI and a .249 average. There really is no reason to let his low OBP and low average change ones point of view on him. In terms of expectations, there may be no more catcher in the league in which you can peg an end of season total on more consistently than Wieters. One of the surrounding issues with Wieters is the improved position in itself. We know what to expect out of Wieters, which has tremendous value in and of itself, but guys like Wilin Rosario and J.P. Arencibia are knocking on the door or hopping over Wieters in terms of fantasy value at this time.
Consistency and predictability helps win in fantasy. Wieters is a guy I want to look to grab at his lowest point, and he does not have many of them. If a potential trade partner is willing to move him at this point, grab him as soon as possible.
Ben has been at RotoGraphs since 2012 and focuses most of his fantasy baseball attention toward dynasty and keeper leagues.