This feels like it’s coming out of left field…It’s not as surprising as I make it seem because injury experts were actually expecting him to have TJ surgery at the time of his injury. That being said, there was no news on that front for a little while, so I am a little surprised. Mateo’s return may have him relegated to the bullpen from now…At least he isn’t rule V eligible till next year.
Mateo rocked the #10 ranking in our MMN Top Prospects series in the offseason, and here’s what I had to say about him then…
The solid and relatively spectacular Luis Mateo found his way into our Top 10 with ease, as he has the makings of a pretty nice prospect. Mateo rocks two impressive fastballs already: a two-seamer with good sink that moves away from right-handed hitters and his four-seam fastball that has been described as explosive. His slider is advanced and pretty much a plus pitch, and the Mateo package rounds out with an improving change-up. Mateo signed on with the Mets in 2011 after having a voided contract from the Giants (bone chips in his elbow) and the Padres (age falsification). Mateo had no further issues upon joining the organization and immediately impressed with his overall domination of the Dominican Summer League. He started 13 games, and pitched 63 innings to the tune of a 2.00 ERA and a 0.778 WHIP, striking out 80 and allowing just one home run in his first pro season with the Mets. To put those numbers into perspective, take a look at the Mateo’s nine-inning averages: 0.1 HR/9 , 0.7 BB/9 , and 11.4 K/9.
… If I had to point out one thing about Mateo that was an issue, it would be his low release point, and this might be an issue in the future for a pitcher who will no doubt have to rely on his change-up often. However, Mateo has shown a lot of maturity and poise on the mound, and I have to make a point out of the fact that he is consistently aggressive as a pitcher and is not afraid to throw any of his pitches in any given count. It is important to consider the floor as much as the ceiling, and Mateo has the makings of a successful late-inning reliever at the worst right now.
We at MMN can only wish him a safe and speedy recovery.