Baseball Prospectus: Scouts Like What They See In Steve Matz

steve matz

The folks over at Baseball Prospectus have recently starting rolling out a wonderful series of articles titled Eyewitness Accounts. When a scout over at BP sits on a game they’ll publish their scouting reports on some of the more interesting names they saw.

Yesterday BP scout Jeff Moore published his report on Mets left-handed starter Steve Matz.

Matz, 22, was the Mets 2nd round pick in the 2009 MLB Draft. He’s currently pitching for the Mets High-A affiliate in St. Lucie. The 6’2 New York native currently has a 2.14 ERA in 33.2 innings for St. Lucie. He’s also struck out 30 and walked 12 in that span without surrendering a homerun.

Matz works off of a fastball that sits 92-94, and can touch 95 at times. Here’s Moore’s take on the pitch:

Command: average; better to arm side, struggled to come inside to right-handed hitters and frequently missed inside. Movement: relatively straight; exploding action.

Plenty of velocity to miss bats, and spots it well on outer half to right-handed hitters to get ahead in count. Once he proves he can come inside with it, fastball will play up even more. Velocity comes with minimal effort.

Present Grade: 50

Future Grade: 60

After that, Matz goes after hitters with his breaking pitch, a curveball that sits in the mid to upper 70’s. Let’s take a look at what BP thinks of his spinner:

Command: threw it consistently for strikes and to both sides of the plate. Willing to throw it to hitters of either handedness. Movement: hard, two-plane break, coming in at 76-78 mph.

It’s not a power curveball, but the break is tight and sharp. Because he changes eye levels, he will get some swings and misses. Left-handed hitters will be uncomfortable. He was willing to go backdoor against right-handers early in the count, but then buried it at their feet once he had two strikes.

Present Grade: 50

Future Grade: 55

Lastly, Steve throws a changeup that comes in 81-83, a solid difference from his fastball.

Command: threw for strikes, kept it down in the strike zone. Movement: inconsistent; some had good arm-side fade, some had downward movement, others were flat.

Needs to gain consistency from pitch to pitch with changeup, but even the ones that didn’t have much movement were effective because of the deception in his quick arm speed and because he commanded it well. Without consistent movement it will be a below-average pitch, but he shows a feel for getting it to move.

Present Grade: 40

Future Grade: 50

Moore liked Matz’s mechanics, calling them “smooth” with “little wasted movement and not max-effort at all. Gets out over front side well. Lands softly on front side. Quick arm and repeats mechanics well.”.

He also added that Matz figures to develop two above-average offerings (fastball, curveball), with another average pitch in the change. Moore likes his chances to move through the system quickly now that he’s healthy. The overall projection on Matz was very encouraging, especially when the report was tied-up with this summation:

As he continues to gain experience and remain healthy, Matz has a chance to become a no. 2 starter while likely settling in as a mid-rotation guy.

To read the entire article, click here. If you’re not a Baseball Prospectus subscriber I would highly recommend that you consider it. Headed-up by Jason Parks, they do a great job of covering prospects.