Matt Wieters, Catcher, Washington Nationals, #32
Date of Birth: 5/21/1986
Birthplace: Charleston, South Carolina
College: Georgia Tech
Matt Wieters, catcher for the Washington Nationals, was a star baseball player at Georgia Tech. The Baltimore Orioles drafted him in 2007 and after just one year in the minor leagues, Wieters was catching for Baltimore in 2009.
Known as a good defensive catcher, Wieters has won two Gold Gloves (2011, 2012). In addition to his fielding talents, Wieters brings some power to the plate. In 2013, he batted .235 with 123 hits, a career high of 29 doubles, 22 home runs, and 79 RBIs in 148 games.
Wieters missed all of the 2014 season due to Tommy John surgery. He started the 2015 season on the DL, still recovering from his 2014 surgery. He returned to the Orioles in the first week of June. He finished the season with 69 hits, 14 doubles, and a .267 batting average in 75 games.
In 2016, Wieters batted .243 in 124 games. He had 103 hits, 17 doubles, 17 home runs, and 66 RBIs. He batted just .125 in 4 at-bats in the Wild Card game. Defensively, as the Orioles' catcher, he made 50 assists, 871 putouts, and a career high 11 errors in 117 games. He caught players trying to steal 34.8% of the time and he had a .988 fielding percentage.
Wieters became a free agent on November 3, 2016. He signed a one-year, $10.5 million contract with the Nationals on February 24, 2017. The contract includes a player option for 2018.
In 2017, his first season with the Nationals, Wieters batted a career low .225 in 123 games. He had 95 hits, 20 doubles, 10 home runs, and 94 strikeouts to 38 walks. Defensively, as the Nationals' catcher in 118 games, he made 43 assists, 1,023 putouts, and 8 errors. He caught players trying to steal 25% of the time. In the postseason, he batted .143 in 14 at-bats in 5 games. He had just 2 hits and he walked twice and struck out 4 times.
Career batting statistics for Wieters through 2017 include:
- 1,005 games played
- 897 hits
- 177 doubles
- 127 home runs
- 489 RBIs
- 745 strikeouts to 323 walks
- .252 batting average
Career fielding statistics for Wieters as a catcher through 2017 include:
- 930 games played
- 387 assists
- 6,620 putouts
- .317 caught stealing percentage
- .992 fielding percentage