Contributed by Mike Stainkamp who you can follow on Twitter at @mikestainkamp34.
Matz continues to improve while staying healthy
A few weeks ago, Mets fans saw something that they’ve been waiting years to see: two top-prospect arms mowing down Braves hitters. Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler pitched both ends of a doubleheader, Wheeler, of course, making his big league debut.
To say the future is bright for the Mets is an understatement, at least in terms of arms. In the system, fans are eager to see the development of Noah Syndergaard, Rafael Montero, Michael Fulmer, just to name a few.
One prospect that has had a rough time of it the last few years has been Steven Matz. Taken in the second round in 2009, Matz has had to battle injuries his whole professional career. After an impressive start to 2012, Matz was shutdown due to shoulder issues.
This year, he has been working with trainer Tom Truedson in an effort to stay healthy and keep his arm fresh.
In his last outing on June 29, Matz (2-4, 2.53 ERA) went 8.0 innings and allowed three runs, two earned, on four hits while striking out five.
“Felt pretty good last outing,” Matz said. “Just tried to stay within myself, not over throwing, and it took me deep into the game.”
Matz has struck out 70 batters in 64 innings pitched, but doesn’t contribute the K’s to just one pitch.
“[I don’t have] a particular strikeout pitch,” he said. “Getting ahead versus coming from behind makes it a lot easier to throw my pitch versus throwing a hitter’s pitch.”
He’s been working on his breaking ball as an out-pitch as well.
“[I’m] not really working on any new pitches, just trying to make my breaking ball more consistent, which has definitely improved since the beginning of the year,” he said.
Thoughts from Joe D.
Mike, thanks for update on Matz and the quotes. One thing that Matz has on his side right now is his age, he just turned 22. One scout told me that what impressed him most so far about Matz is that his velocity is better now than when he first was drafted, despite the Tommy John surgery and numerous setbacks. The fact that he’s a left-hander is important to note as the Mets are woefully deficient as far as lefty starters in the system go. In fact, I still rank Matz as the top southpaw the Mets have.
One of the significant things Mike pointed out was the development of Matz’s secondary pitches which will be the big key to his success moving forward.
The New York native is dominating in Savannah and I love his 70 K to 20 BB ratio and that he’s holding batters to a .224 average. His 9.8 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 show that Matz is still that power pitcher who can command the zone. A promotion to Advanced-A is in his very near future.
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This Fan Shot was contributed by MMO reader Mike Stainkamp. Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over 18,000 Mets fans who read this site daily. Send your Fan Shot to GetMetsmerized@aol.com. Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.