MLB: Orioles to promote Wieters on Friday
Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 27, 2009
By David Ginsburg
BALTIMORE ó It’s time for Matt Wieters to take his act to the big leagues.
Wieters, the top prospect in the Orioles’ organization, will be promoted from the minor leagues to Baltimore on Friday, team president Andy MacPhail said Tuesday.
Wieters played three years at Georgia Tech before being selected by Baltimore with the fifth overall pick in the 2007 amateur draft. The 6-foot-5 catcher split time between Class-A Frederick and Double-A Bowie last year, and this season he was batting .285 with five homers and 26 RBIs with Triple-A Norfolk through Monday.
“He’s made the progress, the power’s starting to come. … It’s time. It’s time,” MacPhail said. “He’s done what he needed to do at that level. We just wanted to make sure we didn’t get into a circumstance where he had to go back (down). So we’re reasonably comfortable that this is a good time for him and we’re going to give him a shot.”
As if to validate the promotion, Wieters was 4-for-4 with four RBIs through eight innings against Toledo on Tuesday. When he arrives in Baltimore, he won’t spend too much time on the bench.
“The lineup is up to the manager, but we didn’t bring him up here to sit,” MacPhail said. “Matt Wieters isn’t going to do a lot of sitting. … He’s here to be the catcher. We’re comfortable with the timing and we’re excited.”
Wieters turned 23 last Thursday. After being drafted by the Orioles, negotiations between the team and agent Scott Boras dragged to 10 minutes before baseball’s mandated deadline before the sides agreed on a minor league deal with a franchise-record $6 million signing bonus.
The Orioles were determined to show patience in bringing him to the big leagues, but Wieters dominated minor league pitching last year and continued to have success this spring.
Wieters batted a combined .355 with 27 homers and 91 RBIs last season to earn the Brooks Robinson Award as the Orioles’ minor league player of the year.