Mets Select LHP Steven Matz and SS Robert Shields On Day One Of Draft

An article by posted on June 10, 2009

As reported on Mets.com, the Mets, selected left-handed pitcher Steven Matz with their first selection, 72nd overall, in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft.

Matz, a senior at Ward Melville High School in East Setauket, NY, went 6-1 with a 0.47 ERA in his first seven starts of the season. In 44 innings, he allowed 11 hits, 15 walks with 81 strikeouts.

Matz, 18, tossed a two-hitter with 11 strikeouts and two walks in a complete game in the first round of the Class AA playoff on May 19th. The 6-2, 192-pounder also went 2-for-2 with two runs and an RBI.

Director of amateur scouting Rudy Terrasas said, 

“We’re very excited to have somebody right here in our own back yard. We like the arm. We think he has a chance to be a solid pitcher for us. He’s got three pitches: fastball, curveball, changeup. Just like any typical high school player, he just needs some time and experience on the mound. He pitches anywhere from 89 to 93, but he settles in around 90 mph. But, again, there’s projection left with this kid.”

Matz will reportedly play for the Mets Gulf Coast League affiliate as soon as he signs.

With the 103rd pick, the Mets selected Robert Shields, a 6-0, 220-pound shortstop out of Florida Southern College. The 21-year-old Shields, a junior, hit .345 (76-220) with 65 runs scored, 19 doubles, two triples, five home runs, 37 RBIs and 10 stolen bases in 57 games for the Division II Moccasins this season.

A native of Dade City, Fla., Shields hit .329 (215-653) over his three-year career at Florida Southern, while starting all 167 games. He was named second-team all Sunshine State Conference as a sophomore.

“We’re really excited about this kid as well,” Terrasas said. “He’s a baseball player. We’re going to put him in at shortstop. We feel like he can stay at shortstop. He’s a guy who has a good feel and instincts for the baseball game. He’s really a good baseball player. There’s no real standout tool, but this guy is solid and steady.”

The last time the Mets drafted a lefthanded starter out of high school was back in 2003 when they selected Scott Kazmir.

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