Orioles catcher Matt Wieters began this season going 7-for-7 when batting with runners in scoring position. While he wasn’t going to keep hitting 1.000 in those clutch spots, he is still batting over .500 with RISP and the team is now 46 games into the season.
Wieters is hitting .576 on the year at 19-for-33 with RISP. He has five doubles, three homers and 25 of his 26 RBIs in those spots. He is easily the American League’s top hitter with RISP.
So what is the key to hitting well in clutch spots like that?
“The only key I think you can get is you don’t wait around when you get a good pitch to hit,” Wieters said. “You attack it and you know, if you don’t hit that one, you wait for the next one and attack that. It’s not where you are trying to run up the pitch count when guys are in scoring position. Just look for your pitch and take a good swing at it.”
He is aware of his great stats in that category but hasn’t looked up just how well he is doing there.
“I haven’t really looked at them. I know it’s going well, so we’ll let it keep going well and not worry about the numbers,” he said.
I have heard some players say it takes young hitters time to learn how to handle those situations and that with more experience, a hitter can get better hitting then. Wieters agrees with that.
“One, I think maybe you are born with it. Two, it’s also repetitions, the more chances you get in those situations. Just look at guys that get the big contracts and have been in the post-season and done well in the post-season.
“The more you get there and the better you do, it feeds on that success and keeps snowballing from there. Like anything, the more repetitions you get at it, the more comfortable you feel with it,” he added.
Wieters came up once last night with a runner in scoring position and, in the sixth inning, he doubled in Nick Markakis from second base giving the Orioles their first run of the night against Danny Duffy.
Wieters is now 10-for-18 on the year (.556) when hitting with two outs and runners in scoring position.
AL leaders, batting with RISP:
.563 - Matt Wieters, Orioles
.472 - Miguel Cabrera, Detroit
.463 - Asdrubal Cabrera, Cleveland
.442 - Michael Young, Texas