Nick Markakis knows what it's like to be a big time prospect. He was selected by the Orioles in the first round of the 2003 player draft, but he told me he has no clue what Matt Wieters is going through in his MLB debut.
Markakis' debut and the expectations surrounding him were much different. In 2006 Markakis made the team out of spring training, so there was no mid-season build up to his first big league appearance.
Nick put it plainly, "I also wasn't the top prospect in all of baseball. "
The O's believed and hoped Markakis would develop into a great player and he has, but it's almost as if Wieters is expected to contribute right away. Whether that's coming from the fans more than the organization I can't say. I'm not so sure that same pressure was put on Markakis out of the gate.
Markakis struggled for about two months before he started producing in the big leagues, and the O's showed a lot of patience. Nick said that patience was one of the greatest gifts he's ever gotten in his career. He said most other clubs would have given up.
Wieters will be offered the same patience although I don't think he'll need it. Dave Trembley made a good point. The expectations are understandable, but he's not going to be "the guy" right away. "It's my job to get him there," said Trembley.