Washington Nationals: Matt Wieters Signing Opens Other Doors
By Ron Juckett
As Dusty Baker figures out how best to fit his batting order together, he now has the switch-hitting Wieters to throw at the end of the lineup.
For his career, he is a .250 hitter as a port-sided hitter and a .273 as a righty. When you look at his career BAbip, it is .273 as a lefty and .325 from the starboard side. Against left-handed pitchers, he slugs at a .468 clip.
Yes, National League baseball is not as hitting-friendly as Wieters old American League. He also will play few games in titanic-sized NL West parks and does not bat against his own pitchers.
Whether he hits behind Ryan Zimmerman in the eighth-hole or as high as sixth behind Anthony Rendon, Wieters offers protection and decent power in the lineup. With the Baltimore Orioles, he primarily hit fifth or six with 152 games batting seventh. Sixth or lower is the best guess at this point.
Although the lineup overall is in flux, Wieters is a nice problem to have.
Already a productive offense, the addition of Wieters—and one less bat to pitch around—puts the Nats into lethal territory.
Last year, most of his power came from the left side, 14 of 17 homers. Regardless of what side he hit from, his BAbip was an equal .269.
He is not Wilson Ramos, but Wieters is close. Consistency is key.