With Three Plus Pitches, Steven Matz Sees His Prospect Status Soaring

An article by posted on October 3, 2013

steven matz

Baseball America ranked Met pitching prospect Steven Matz in the final spot of their South Atlantic League Top 20 Prospects.

Here’s what BA wrote about him:

Led by control artists like Gabriel Ynoa (the league’s pitcher of the year) and Luis Cessa, Savannah walked 267 batters all year. Only one other SAL team walked fewer than 400. Matz didn’t paint corners as much as Ynoa or Cessa, but he did throw plenty of strikes while showcasing three potentially plus pitches: an 89-94 mph fastball that touched 96 as well as an intriguing curveball and changeup.

The big question for Matz is health. His 106 innings this year came after he threw fewer than 30 in his first three pro seasons as he dealt with an extremely lengthy recovery from Tommy John surgery.

It’s kind of disappointing to see only one Met prospect on this list, given the many fine performances that propelled the Savannah Sand Gnats to their South Atlantic League Championship title this year.

In addition to Cessa and Ynoa, other deserving players that were excluded include first baseman Jayce Boyd and catcher Kevin Plawecki, both of whom all had All-Star campaigns.

As of now, Matz is the best lefthanded pitching prospect the Mets have and with his arm issues behind him, one scout told me that given his solid command of his fastball and secondary pitches, he could spend a short time in St. Lucie before advancing to Double-A Binghamton in 2014.

Matz, who will be 23 next May, came back from Tommy John surgery with more velocity on his fastball that showed great late movement. His curveball is very advanced and misses a lot of bats, contributing to his 10.2 K/9 rate – an impressive mark for any pitcher let alone a southpaw.

The Long Island native took a huge step forward in 2013 and many scouts took notice of his bulldog mentality on the mound which he paired very nicely with a savvy veteran pitching sense.

He finished the season with a 2.62 ERA and 1.16 WHIP in 106.0 innings pitched, striking out 121 while walking 38. Among his 21 starts was a complete game shutout that saw him strikeout 13 batters while allowing just four baserunners. One last thing to note is that he’s allowed just four home runs all season long, and his Hits per Nine Innings was ranked third best among starters who tossed 100 or more innings.

 

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