Matt Wieters – .288/.340/.412, 35 R, 15 doubles, 1 triple, 9 HR, 43 RBI, 385 PA
Wieters came into the season heralded as the top prospect in baseball. He started in AAA Norfolk and struggled a bit earlier on, hitting .260/.367/.360 in April, but got back to being Matt Wieters in May (.330/.398/.582). He had a similar progression when he was promoted to the big club in late May. Wieters had a .637 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) in his three games in May, .691 in June, and .767 in July. He slumped a bit in August slipping back to a .652 OPS, but really broke out in September hitting to a .936 OPS. Defensively he also got better as the year went along. He struggled throwing runners out at first, but by the end of the year he was very impressive. He even threw out speedy baserunner Carl Crawford out at second base twice in the same game. Overall it was an important and successful season for Wieters. He gained much needed experience hitting major league pitching and, maybe more importantly, catching and handling a major league staff.
2010 Prognosis: I expect Wieters to become one of the best hitters in baseball as soon as next year. I think the way he hit in September is along the lines of what we should expect over the whole year. Its the kind of hitter he was at every step of the way in his career. He’ll be 23 years old on opening day and is under the Orioles control for at least six more years. He should be our number three hitter in the lineup next season depending on who we acquire in the offseason. I think .290 – .310, 25 – 35 homeruns, and 80 – 100 RBI is in the realm of possibility.
Chad Moeller – .258/.313/.438, 6 R, 8 doubles, 1 triple, 2 HR, 10 RBI, 100 PA
Moeller started the season as the back up catcher to Gregg Zaun until Matt Wieters was promoted. Ironically, he resumed his back up role after Zaun was traded in August. He hit surprisingly well during his second stint with the big league club, especially since he hit .203/.242/.254 over 118 at bats in AAA Norfolk between his time in the majors. Apparently he had a good rapport with alot of pitchers so theres not much to complain about.
2010 Prognosis: Its not hard to imagine Moeller being brought back for the back up catcher role in 2010, but at the same time I don’t think we’re rushing to do so. It will probably be one of the last decisions made in the offseason. If he signs elsewhere, the Orioles will just find someone else that fits the same description. They’re a dime a dozen. I wouldn’t complain if he was re-signed either.
Gregg Zaun – .244/.355/.375, 22 R, 10 doubles, 4 HR, 13 RBI, 197 PA
Zaun was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays on August 7th, but did a good job as back up catcher to Matt Wieters before then. He was terrible for the first two months of the season when he was the primary backstop for the Orioles, hitting .209/.316/.304 in that time span. But once Wieters came up it was like a different player came up with him to be his back up. As the back up Zaun hit .321/.446/.528, which is phenomenal. He was successful with the Rays as well after the trade, hitting .287/.323/.489.
2010 Prognosis: I wouldn’t mind seeing Zaun brought back next season as the back up to Wieters again, but most likely he’ll re-sign with Tampa Bay or go somewhere else. He performed well enough to play a little more than a game or two a week in 2010. Maybe theres a platoon situation for him out there somewhere.
Guillermo Rodriguez – .000/.286/.000, 1 R, 1 RBI, 7 PA
Rodriguez was just a third catcher for September when rosters expanded. He had no hits and a walk in seven plate appearances, so he really didn’t have an effect on the team.
2010 Prognosis: I would suspect Rodriguez will be a casualty on the 40 man roster in the offseason. Maybe we sign him to a minor league contract or he goes elsewhere.