Matt Wieters began the season as baseball's number one prospect, but we haven't heard much about him so far in 2009. Some took notice when he missed a bit of time because of a hamstring issue, but his season at AAA Norfolk has mostly been quiet. He's played well, though not incredibly, hitting one homer and batting .297/.391/.405 with 12 walks and 17 strikeouts. Gregg Zaun and Chad Moeller have combined for only 21 hits in 100 at bats for the O's, so they're not blocking Wieters' path. His main obstacle is time.
- If the Orioles called Wieters up today, he'd accumulate enough service time this year (almost 150 days) to become a Super Two player. This means he'd cost the Orioles more money in the future because he'd go to arbitration four times.
- If they wait until June 1st to call Wieters up, he won't accumulate more than 126 days service time. This would likely prevent him from becoming a Super Two and would likely save the Orioles millions of dollars in years ahead.
- Waiting until June 1st or later also allows the Orioles to make sure Wieters is ready for the majors when he arrives. They can endure their soft-hitting catchers this year, because they're not a contender, so it would be a surprise to see the prospect called up soon.