GT Pros is Back! Here’s What You May Have Missed

After a stressful last two weeks, as any Tech grad or student would know, it is now time to get back to writing. There have been some very exciting news over the last two weeks, so hopefully this post covers everything!

The NFL Draft has come and gone and there wasn’t a single Georgia Tech player drafted. Although this draft was abnormally deep, it is still surprising to see guys like Uzzi, Barnes, and Sweeting go undrafted. Luckily for them, however, almost all have signed UDFA deals. Here’s a list of where everyone ended up with the exception of Uzzi, who has not signed with anyone as far as I know.

Orwin Smith- Tampa Bay Buccaneers

TJ Barnes- Jacksonville Jaguars

Rod Sweeting- New Orleans Saints

Tyler Morgan- Carolina Panthers

Izaan Cross- Buffalo Bills

In NBA news, Jarrett Jack and the Warriors were able to pull a major upset over the Denver Nuggets in the 1st round of the playoffs. They now have a date with the San Antonio Spurs in the 2nd round, which means Jack will have to be a big contributor off the bench. Curry will have a hard time keeping Parker out of the paint, which means Jack will have to be even more important on the defensive end. Chris Bosh and Iman Shumpert are also still alive in the playoffs. I expect the Heat to coast by the Bulls, but the Knicks will have a very tough time scoring on the Pacers’ defense. They already lost game 1 at home, which is a really bad start to the series.

Another interesting development is the call up of Tyler Greene by the Chicago White Sox. He has played well when given the chance, and he certainly should stay on the active roster for the foreseeable future. Matt Wieters has improved on his stats recently and is starting to improve on his average. This slump has lingered longer than expected, but he still has a long season ahead of him and needs to avoid pressing.

The last two weeks have been eventful, but we are now heading into the summer, which means baseball, golf and the NBA playoffs will dominate our coverage. Make sure to come back and check out what you have missed as we gradually start to post again!

 

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Wieters’ Walk Off

Matt Wieters is officially out of his slump. He has had a couple of nice games the last few nights, but they were nothing like tonight. In tonight’s home game against the Rays, Wieters went 2-5 with 2 extra base hits, 2 runs, and 4 RBIs. And in case you’re wondering where his four RBIs came from, check this out.

With the bases loaded in the bottom of the tenth inning, Wieters hit a grand slam to right center field. Although the pitch was 78 mph down the middle of the plate, it’s still nice to see Wieters hitting the ball. He struck out in three of his first four plate appearances, but his final AB should give him major confidence going forward.

Wieters Homers And Sees Improvement at the Plate

Matt Wieters’ recent slump has been well documented here on GT Pros, but there was finally some promise from him at the plate tonight. In his four at bats in tonight’s game, he saw 21 pitches, which was the most by any Orioles player tonight. He was more patient and he benefitted by hitting a HR to right field in the 2nd inning. Hopefully tonight’s success will rejuvenate his game at the plate because the Orioles really need it right now. Here’s a video of his home run tonight.

 

Wieters’ Weekend in Review

Heading into the weekend, Matt Wieters was working to get out of a major hitting slump. The Yankees pitchers, however, were able to control him and he went 1-11 in the series. The slump has obviously affected his team as well as they have lost three of the last four and all have been 3 run losses. His hitting woes wouldn’t be as big of a concern if he was getting on base and forcing long counts, but he has been too aggressive at the plate lately. In his 11 ABs over the weekend, he saw 31 pitches, which means he is swinging early and making contact (only had 2 strikeouts). He’s not striking out so that’s a good sign, but being a little more patient at the plate would certainly help him come out of his slump. He needs to fix things soon or else the Orioles may find themselves last in the division after they play their next 13 games against very good teams (Rays, Dodgers, Blue Jays, and A’s). They have clearly cooled down as a team, but luckily it’s a long season and anyone can win their division this year.

Wieters Needs a Day Off

Through Matt Wieters’ first four games of the season, he was hitting .429 with a HR and 3 RBIs. He did a great job of making contact and getting on base, but recently things have changed. In his last 5 games, he has gone 1-15 with 2 walks. Wieters has proven to be a consistent major league hitter, but his approach is off right now and he is in a mini slump.

With Nick Markakis, Adam Jones, and Chris Davis in front of him, Wieters has multiple chances each game to hit with runners in scoring position. All three have been on a tear recently, which means pitchers are pitching cautiously to them and going after Wieters. A day or two off where he can get his head right would do him well, and hopefully help fix his issues at the plate. He’ll continue to have RBI opportunities and big at bats, so he should come out of his slump sooner rather than later.

Matt Wieters Weekend Review

The Orioles played the Minnesota Twins in their first weekend series of the year, but lost the series 1-2. Their two losses came in one run games, which has to be frustrating to Orioles fans. After a promising opening series against the Rays, their pitching looked subpar in this series. Wieters also managed to struggle as he went 2-9 over the weekend with the 2 hits coming on Friday night. He should continue to put up big numbers with Markakis and Jones in front of him in the lineup, but the Orioles are going to need a big year from him. Through the first 6 games, it’s obvious they’re going to be in for a dogfight in their division all year long.

Matt Wieters Update

On Wednesday, Wieters went 1-4 with an RBI for the Orioles in an 8-7 win for the Rays. He responded on Thursday by going 1-3 with a walk and a run. The Orioles won game 3 of the series and now sit at 2-1. They looked very impressive in their first series and Wieters should get a ton of RBI opportunities with Markakis, Jones, and Davis hitting in front of him. He’s due for a big season and we’ll keep track of every game of his.

Matt Wieters Opening Day Update

Update: Wieters continues to get on base, but this time it was from a walk. He took a walk with Adam Jones on second, and both scored after Chris Davis hit a homerun. So far Wieters is 2-2 with a homerun, double, 2 walks, 2 RBIs, and 2 runs. That’s a pretty good start to the season!

Update: In his second at bat, he walked to load the bases. The Orioles were unable to capitalize on that opportunity though, and didn’t score a run. In his third at bat, he hit a double with no one on base.

In the Orioles’ first game of the season, Matt Wieters hit a homerun. Adam Jones doubled with Wieters on deck, so Wieters was able to collect 2 RBIs off his homerun in the first inning. He had a great spring, so it’s a good sign to see him continue his hot streak. What makes the home run even better is that it came against the Rays (a divisional opponent) and David Price, the 2012 AL Cy Young. I’ll post an update on the rest of his performance later.

Opening Day Roster Updates

Opening Day is now just two days away, which means nearly all major league rosters are set. Clearly players like Matt Wieters and Mark Teixeira (on DL) made their teams’ rosters, but there were a few other former Yellow Jackets fighting to make their teams.

Charlie Blackmon had an excellent spring for the Rockies, hitting .367 with an OPS of 1.072. He only had 30 ABs, but played well when given the opportunity. He had a lot of competition for the 5th OF spot though, and ultimately lost to Tyler Colvin, who was impressive in the majors last year. This doesn’t mean that Blackmon should have an issue seeing time in the majors though because he may very well get called up if someone in the Rockies OF goes down with an injury (every team deals with injuries).

Mike Nickeas had a chance to crack the Blue Jays roster, but he was unable to impress during Spring Training. He was only able to hit .200 in his 40 ABs, which wasn’t enough to get a roster spot. He may get called up in September when the rosters expand to 40 players, but he needs to perform well in the minors since he hasn’t at the major league level so far.

Blake Wood was placed on the 60 day DL by the Indians a couple weeks back since he had Tommy John Surgery half way through last season. He won’t play for a while, but he should get some appearances late in the summer after he hopefully makes a full recovery.

Now that Teixeira is on the DL and out for quite a while, Matt Wieters is the only active major league player from Georgia Tech. That’s very surprising given the program’s success, but there are a few players in the minors with potential so it won’t be too long before that changes. I’ll also frequently be doing updates for Wieters and any other Tech players who make the majors, so come back to see how everyone is playing. Since Wieters is the only Tech player who will be opening up the season in the majors, does anyone have any predictions for his numbers this season?

2013 MLB Season Preview- Matt Wieters

Since the site is new, I will be making additions in the next few weeks. I expect to add more baseball and golf information to the site, but until then I will post a few season previews of former Yellow Jackets. The first player up in this list is Matt Wieters, a catcher for the Baltimore Orioles.

sportsillustrated.cnn.com

sportsillustrated.cnn.com

Wieters was drafted fifth overall in the 2007 MLB Draft by the Baltimore Orioles. Like most top prospects, he quickly worked his way through the minor leagues and made his debut in May of the 2009 season. Through his first three and a half seasons, he has turned into a two time All Star and a Gold Glove winner. He has shown impressive power as a catcher and helped lead the Orioles back to the playoffs last season.

With a little over a week left before Opening Day, Wieters is ready to go. He has been on fire through spring training, hitting over .400 and driving in runs. Spring training statistics should be taken with a grain of salt, but it is nice to see him making contact with the ball. The Orioles are going to need him to hit for average and power this year if they want to make the playoffs. Wieters also plays exceptional defense, which makes him incredibly valuable.

If Wieters is going to take the next step though, he needs to take control of the pitching staff. The Orioles have more depth in their rotation this year than they have had in a long time and it will be up to Wieters to call effective games. If he can work with his pitchers to improve their performance, I really see the Orioles making the playoffs as a wild card team.  The Yankees and Red Sox are down right now and they need to take advantage of the opportunity. Wieters has turned into an All Star catcher for the Orioles and they will need him to produce this year if they want to repeat their success from last season.

Information taken from Wikipedia and ESPN.