The Mets have signed top pick, left-handed starting pitcher Steven Matz.
Matz, out of Ward Melville High School in East Setauket and the 72nd overall pick in June’s First-Year Player Draft, signed for $895,000.
The 6-foot-3, 185-pound Matz went 6-1 with a 0.47 ERA in seven starts this season for Ward Melville. He struck out 81 batters while allowing just 11 hits in 44 innings.
“We’re very excited to have someone like that in our own [backyard],” Rudy Terrasas, the Mets’ director of amateur scouting, said after selecting Matz in June. “We think he’s got a chance to be a solid pitcher for us.”
Matz’s fastball can reach 94 mph, and he is working on a curveball and changeup as his secondary pitches.
As the night wore on and the deadline came and went, there was no official announcement. In fact at 11:47, Jon Heyman tweeted that the Mets are down to final 13 minutes with no deal still. But at about 12:15 AM the news started filtering out that the Mets did indeed reach an agreement with Matz.
I was surprised yet happy that the Mets made the decision to pay him well over slot for players that were drafted at that spot. The Mets have always stayed withing Selig’s slotting system guidelines, so seeing them finally act like a big market team and get the deal done was a positive sign. Kudos to Omar Minaya and the Wilpon’s who have gotten a lot of flack lately.
I’m glad they were able to get something done as the alternative could have been another story that would have been spun in a hundred negative ways.
It doesn’t sound like we’ll see Matz as quickly as we did Pelfrey given his age and lack of major league ready secondary pitches, but he could develop in 2-3 years. I’m not sure where he’ll be assigned, but I’m thinking Brooklyn or Kingsport. Welcome to the Mets!
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Just a note for those who may be interested… The Washington Nationals did come to an agreement with pitching phenom Stephen Strasburg. He reportedly signed for 4 years with a record setting bonus of $15.5 million dollars. He is expected to rocket through the system and we may even see him next season.