Nobody made the Baseball America Hot Sheet this past week, but right-handed pitching prospect Luis Mateo id get an honorable mention, and rightfully so I may add.
Luis Mateo, rhp, Mets: In the international scouting community, Mateo is far from an unknown. The Giants signed him for $625,000 four years ago, but voided his contract when they found bone chips in his elbow. Then in November 2008, the Padres signed him for $300,000, but that deal fell apart due to MLB’s investigation into his background, which eventually revealed that Mateo had falsely shaved two years off his age. After serving a suspension, Mateo finally signed with the Mets last year for $150,000, then went out and dominated the Dominican Summer League. In his U.S. debut on Tuesday for short-season Brooklyn, Mateo struck out nine with one walk, two hits and one run allowed in 5 2/ 3 innings. The 22-year-old Mateo had anything but a typical development path, but his size (6-foot-3, 200 pounds) and stuff are promising, with a 91-94 mph fastball that touches a few ticks higher, along with a power slider and an occasional changeup.
Last season for the DSL Mets, Mateo, averaged 10.8 strike-outs per nine innings in what was his first season of pro ball. He’s a legit prospect who knows how to pitch and scouts say he’s fearless on the mound. The Mets may have gotten lucking getting Mateo for as little as they did, as both San Diego and San Francisco loved his promise and offered far more before circumstances with his age and elbow made them back off.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Mateo finds himself in Savannah before season’s end, especially if he has 3-4 more dominating starts like he did last week for the Cyclones.