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Matt Wieters
Name: Matthew Richard Wieters
Born: May 21, 1986 in Goose Creek, SC
High School: Georgia Tech
College: Georgia Tech
High School: Stratford HS, Goose Creek, S.C.
Ht.: 6'5" / Wt.: 235 lbs
Bats: B / Throws: R
Drafted in the 1st round (5th overall) by the Baltimore Orioles in 2007 (signed for $6,000,000)
Like Price, Wieters' strong college commitment was the only reason he wasn't drafted in the first two rounds in 2004. A talented two-way player who flashed 90 mph heat and plus-plus raw power at his suburban Charleston, S.C., high school, Wieters is well on his way to fulfilling the lofty projections on his bat. He's batted in the heart of Georgia Tech's batting order and served as the closer since arriving on campus. He ranked as the No. 3 prospect in the Cape Cod League in 2006 and was a first-team Preseason All-American this year. While his size has been used as a knock on his defensive ability, one national crosschecker said Wieters was the best defensive catcher he'd seen as an amateur since Charles Johnson, and another said only Joe Mauer was better among the amateurs he'd scouted. Wieters has soft hands, good footwork and well-above-average arm strength, as evidenced by the 96 mph heat he has shown from the mound. Despite his size, he shows an ability to handle low strikes and receives quietly. He's not as vocal on the field as prototypical catchers. Wieters is the most polished hitter in the draft class. He commands the strike zone, displaying patience and pitch recognition. When he gets his pitch, he can use his plus bat speed to pull it out of the park, or keep his hands inside it and line it to the opposite field. A natural righthanded hitter, his swing is shorter from the right and he tends to work up the middle more as a righthanded hitter. He prefers to pull and has more power from the left. He could post averages near .280 with 30-homer potential in the big leagues. If the Devil Rays take Price No. 1, the Royals could take Wieters second, but he could slide out of the top 10 if the money adviser Scott Boras reportedly will seek is perceived as exorbitant.
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