Despite every other bat in the lineup being in a slump thus far in April, Matt Wieters has had a break out month thus far.
In March and April of 2010, the former first round draft pick had a batting average of .280 in his 22 games. He went yard once and recorded two doubles and eight RBIs. Wieters had an on base percentage of .344 and a slugging percentage of .341. He grounded into a double play once in his 82 at bats.
This March and April he has batted .269 in his 52 at bats. Wieters has hit four doubles, three homers, and recorded 11 RBIs. His slugging percentage has been .519 and his on base percentage is .345.
However, despite his numbers being similar for the two years, they do not show the true story of Wieters at the plate. He has hit 1.000 with runners in scoring position in the month of April, doing it six times in his six opportunities. He has two homeruns and 10 RBIs with runners in scoring position.
In the past week, he has hit .438 with seven RBIs and two home runs. Currently, he is on a five game hit streak, coming with a double and a single last night after going 2-4. During the Minnesota series, Wieters went 4 for 9 with a double, two home runs,and seven RBIs.
In the eighth hole, Wieters is batting .244 whereas when he has hit in the fifth spot this season, he has a batting average of .364. In contrast, in the fifth hole his slugging percentage is lower at .455 compared to his slugging percentage of .537 in the eighth spot.
Throughout his career, Wieters' batting average has stayed fairly consistent. During his rookie season in 2009 he hit .288 in 96 games. In 130 games last season, he batted .249 and is currently hitting .250 in the 2011 season. With more at bats last season than his previous season, his on base percentage dropped .020 from .340 to .319.
In his rookie season, Wieters homered just nine times. He matched that and added two more last season. Through 15 games this season, he has went deep three times already, putting him on track to crush his career record set last season.
He increased his RBI production from the 2009 to the 2010 season, going from 43 to 55. With 11 already this season, he is also looking at setting a new career high in this category.
Wieters eye at the plate his gotten better in his limited years in the majors. In his rookie season, he walked 28 times. He almost doubled that in the 2010 season, drawing a base on balls, 47 times. There was a slight increase in the number of strike outs for him—from 86 to 94—but he had 117 more plate appearances in 2010. The large increase in times at the plate in comparison to the slight change in strikeouts means that the difference is virtually meaningless. Thus far into the 2011 season, Wieters has walked five times and struck out nine.
With May just around the corner, Wieters will need to break out of his usual numbers that come with the month if he plans to keep them up where they are. In 2009, his lowest batting average per month came in May at .182. The 2010 month brought him his second lowest batting average of .221. In his career, he only had three home runs and eight RBIs in May—both totals coming last season.
From his numbers over the past two seasons, it seems that Wieters heats up as the weather does. July has been a good month for the 6 ft. 5 in. switch hitter. It brought him a batting average of .323 with six RBIs and a .403 slugging percentage in 2009. The following year he hit a season high .289 during the month with a .511 slugging percentage and six RBIs again.
If Wieters can continue his momentum further into the season, he is looking at a career year despite not having too many season in the big leagues. The hype that has followed him throughout his career from college to the minor leagues up the bigs will be greatly supported by the statistics if Wieters keeps up with the way he has been seeing the ball and making contact.