New York Mets prospects

Steven Matz has been tremendous for High-A St. Lucie

By Danny Abriano

Steven Matz, a left-handed starting pitcher who opened eyes during spring training with his mid-90s fastball, curve, and changeup, has been dominant thus far for High-A St. Lucie.

Mar 2, 2014; Jupiter, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz (63) throws the ball against the St. Louis Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Matz, who turns 23 in May, had a few seasons derailed by injury before re-emerging in a big way for Low-A Savannah in 2013.

Thursday night for St. Lucie, Matz didn’t surrender a hit until there were two outs in the sixth inning. It should be noted that the hit came on a bunt single.

Matz’ line Thursday night: Seven innings pitched, no runs on two hits, one walk, and six strikeouts. In three starts for St. Lucie, Matz’ ERA is at an even 2.00.

Barring something odd happening, Matz is destined to be promoted to Double-A Binghamton sooner rather than later.

Matz is earning praise from St. Lucie pitching coach Phil Regan, who says the young left-hander has been sitting between 95 and 97 MPH with his fastball.

Earlier in the week, Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen compared Matz to Clayton Kershaw. While that’s a bit crazy, left-handed starting pitchers who sit in the mid-90s and touch the upper 90s with their fastball (and who have two secondary offerings that could be above average) are the type of prospects who should be fawned over.

With Rafael Montero and Noah Syndergaard on the cusp of their big league debuts, Zack Wheeler and Jenrry Mejia dealing in the majors, and Matt Harvey on the comeback trail, Matz may be a bit overshadowed at the moment. However, Matz’ performance and potential is making him impossible to overlook.

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