Tag Archives: Matt Wieters

American League East Previews – Orioles

Today’s focus: Baltimore Orioles


To all the other teams in the American League East, having the Orioles in the division has made life much easier the last few years. Never a need to worry about being in the basement when you’ve got good old Baltimore to fill the cellar for you. The Orioles find themselves coming off three years in a row at the bottom of the pile and amazingly 13 losing seasons in a row.

Baltimore has stayed out of the free for all signings for the last several off seasons and focused on developing talent from within. Players such as Matt Wieters, Nick Markakis, Jake Arrieta and Brian Matuzs are considered high ceiling guys. This offseason however, they revamped the left side of their infield by bringing in JJ Hardy and Mark Reynolds, inserted a veteran presence into their rotation with Justin Duchscherer, added first baseman Derrek Lee and DH Vladimir Guerrero . Further development of their young pitchers, many of whom were at one time rated top prospects by Baseball America, and continued growth of their developing players should allow for an improved season. The addition of Buck Showalter as manager has reinvigorated this group and has them once again believing in their ability to win.

Notable Losses Include: Kevin Millwood, Julio Lugo, Ty Wigginton, Corey Patterson, David Hernandez, Matt Albers

Notable Pick Ups: Derrek Lee, JJ Hardy, Mark Reynolds, Kevin Gregg, Brendan Harris, Justin Duchscherer, Vladimir Guerrero

At this point the O’s have picked up some nice infield help, have a good/potentially very good young pitching staff, a solid clean up hitter with the addition of Vlad, and a positive outlook with Showalter at the helm. I’ll go out on a limb here and say this team breaks .500 and ends their streak of last place finishes in the division this season.

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2011 Fantasy Baseball Rankings: CATCHER

THE CATCHERS…Well here we are, finally rolling out the much-anticipated 2011 Positional Rankings starting with the Backstops. To no one’s surprise, Joe Mauer tops our composite rankings as the #1 Catcher for this upcoming season. Mauer could not repeat his 2009 success, but to call his 2010 a bust would be absurd. Mauer looks to rebound and keep his throne.

Photo by Scott A. Schneider/Getty Images

Enjoy and comment as necessary!

RANK PLAYER Brian Mike Killboy Jesse Eric COMP
1 Joe Mauer – MIN 1 1 1 1 1 1.0
2 Victor Martinez – DET 2 3 2 2 3 2.4
3 Buster Posey – SF 3 4 3 3 2 3.0
4 Brian McCann – ATL 4 2 4 4 4 3.6
5 Carlos Santana – CLE 6 6 5 6 5 5.6
6 Geovany Soto – CHC 5 9 6 5 6 6.2
7 Mike Napoli – TEX 10 5 7 8 7 7.4
8 Kurt Suzuki – OAK 7 8 13 7 8 8.6
9 Jorge Posada – NYY 12 11 8 10 9 10.0
10 Miguel Montero – ARI 8 10 9 13 11 10.2
11 Matt Wieters – BAL 11 7 14 9 10 10.2
12 Carlos Ruiz – PHI 9 12 18 11 14 12.8
13 Chris Iannetta – COL 13 16 10 12 13 12.8
14 Russell Martin – NYY 15 13 12 15 12 13.4
15 John Buck – FLA 16 17 11 16 17 15.4
16 A.J. Pierzynski – CHW 17 14 20 17 15 16.6
17 J.P. Arencibia – TOR 16 14 16 17.6
18 Miguel Olivo – SEA 18 15 18 18.6
19 Ryan Doumit – PIT 19 19 17 19 20 18.8
20 Yadier Molina – STL 14 19 19 18.8

MIKE NAPOLI

I am sticking to my words: “Napoli could wind up a Top 5 Catcher.” The guy is in one of the best parks and lineups in all of baseball. 30 bombs is NOT a stretch.

J.P. ARENCIBIA

Last year’s Pacific Coast League MVP is pretty much guaranteed to be the starting catcher in Toronto this year.  He has almost no major league experience but his minor league home run total’s (32HR in 2010) make him worth a flier in the late rounds of the draft.  Expect some growing pains, but Arencibia could be a cheap source for power.

CARLOS RUIZ

Chooch continues to be one of the most under rated players in MLB.  He was the Phillies 2010 MVP for his clutch hitting and handling of their pitching staff.  All projections are calling for him to regress this season – but looking at graphs of his last three seasons he is trending up in all the right categories.  Ruiz could be a tremendous consolation prize if you like to draft your catcher(s) in the later rounds.

SLEEPER: JARROD SALTALAMACCHIA

Salty has + power for a catcher and looks to be the likely starter in Boston. In that lineup you can expect a lot of RBI and Run chances. Only downside potential is the number of AB’s Varitek may steal from him.

BUST: KURT SUZUKI

Weak 260-275 AVG with low double-digit HR totals. Suzuki’s move to the bottom 3rd of a poor Oakland lineup will kill his counting stats. If you wait to draft a catcher, at least draft one with power potential.