2011 Baltimore Orioles: Catcher
So far we’ve looked at the Orioles starting rotation and their bullpen. Up next is who will be calling the games and catching the ball for the Orioles, behind the plate. At the top of the depth chart in the catcher position for the Orioles is super-prospect Matt Wieters. Wieters is entering his third season with the parent club and needs to have a breakout season to help this revamped Orioles team to compete.
In 2010 he had a bit of a dropoff in production, hitting just .249 with 11 home runs. However, one would have to believe that the additions of Vladimir Guerrero, Derek Lee, J.J. Hardy and Mark Reynolds would help improve the production of the rest of the Orioles.
Defensively, Matt is a solid catcher and will improve in his third season and first full season under Buck Showalter.
Backing him up is most likely Jake Fox (although Chris Tatum stands a chance to compete there). Fox, a former Chicago Cub, is a career .285 hitter and provides solid depth at the position. I wouldn’t expect to see him in more than 30 to 40 games as long as Wieters is healthy, but he’ll be a solid backup.
This is one of the positions that is tough to assign a grade to. Potential exists for Wieters to be a top catcher in this league, but so far he is fairly average.
Check back this week for 1B, 2B, and SS.