Steven Matz is often the forgotten Mets prospect due to all the time he has missed with injuries since being drafted in 2009. He finally pitched in his first professional game in 2012, and has put up solid numbers ever since.
Matz is a southpaw with an electric fastball that touches 95 mph, a solid curve ball, and an above average changeup in his arsenal. His mechanics aren’t perfect, which causes concerns due to his past injury history. His lower and upper-half seem to be slightly out of sync causing him to use his arm more.
Matz has predominantly been throwing fastballs, which was probably part of his development plan in 2013. Getting back his command, after missing the amount of time he did, is of the upmost importance. In the video below, you can see he throws some really nice pitches, but he also misses the strike zone quite badly on a few. In time, this should correct itself as he logs more innings pitched.
Matz had an excellent year in Savannah last year, pitching in 106.1 innings with a 2.62 ERA, and a 3.18 SO/BB ratio. He seemed to get stronger as the season progressed, prompting Stefan Sabol to say this about him in a recent interview over at MetsMinors.net:
“I think everyone improved through the year but there were two people who really impressed me throughout the season and they were Steven Matz and Beck Wheeler. The adversities they have had to overcome in the past in their careers and to have the season they had this year was nothing short than amazing.”
While throwing a mid-90s fastball could lead to dominance over lower-level hitters, he will need to have command over that fastball and compliment it with a solid second and third offering to be successful at the higher levels.
Due to the strides Matz made in 2013 added to the fact that he’s left-handed and can pump in 95 mph fastballs, he is atop my list for Mets pitching prospects to watch in 2014. He will start the season with St. Lucie, and hopefully remain on the path to helping the Mets at the major league level in the next couple of years.