Matthew Koch, P
2013: 82.1 IP, 4.70 ERA, 2.87 FIP, 7.43 K/9, 0.44 B/9
Koch began his first full professional season in Low-A Savannah of the Sally League. The former third-round pick out of Louisville would go on to pitch 82.1 innings in 15 starts to go along with three relief appearances. In those 82.1 innings he would post an uninspiring 4.70 ERA, but that doesn’t necessarily tell the entire story. Minor leaguers tend to be raw defensively, especially in Low-A ball, leading to misplays that may not go in the books as an error. A look at Koch’s 2.87 FIP will tell you he likely pitched better than his ERA. Even more impressive is his walk rate. Matt showed excellent control, walking a paltry four batters for the season– a stunning 0.44 BB/9.
A reliever for most of this college career, Koch’s transition to the rotation has gone as well as can be expected. He’s got a durable 6’3 frame that should handle the rigors of starting. The development of his secondary pitches will be vital to his success and likely determine is future role. Both his changeup and slider flash potential. People I spoke to liked him as a middle-reliever at worst, with potential for more.
2014 should prove to be a solid test for Koch. He’ll likely see a big jump in innings as the Mets attempt to determine whether or not he’s suited for starting at the highest level. At 23 there’s also the possibility he jumps St. Lucie and heads right to Double-A Binghamton. Hitters in the Eastern League won’t miss his 92-95 MPH fastball if he isn’t keeping them honest with the breaking/offspeed stuff. I’m looking forward to tracking his progress and hopeful that he can succeed as a starter in 2014.