Steven Matz ranked eighth best left-handed pitching prospect by MLB.com
Steven Matz, one of the top prospects in the Mets organization, has been ranked by MLB.com as the eighth best left-handed pitching prospect in baseball.
Dodgers phenom Julio Urias was ranked first on the list, and others ahead of Matz included Carlos Rodon and Henry Owens.
Checking in behind Matz on the list were Sean Newcomb and Brandon Finnegan, who emerged this past postseason for the Royals.
On the 40-to-80 scouting scale, Matz received the following grades:
Overall grade: 55
Writes Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com:
"His breakout in 2014 showed he’s worth the wait, as he dominated two levels, leading the organization in ERA and finishing second in strikeouts.Matz is lean, lanky and loose, firing mid-90s fastballs with ease and having the ability to reach back for more when he needs it. He throws it with sink, not only missing bats, but also generating groundball outs. His changeup is his best secondary offering, which he turns over and sinks very well. His curveball has gotten better, a big breaking ball he can keep down in the zone and is now a Major League average pitch. He doesn’t hurt himself with walks, and his overall command has improved over time.The further removed from his arm issues he gets, the more complete of a pitcher he becomes. Matz looks more and more like a frontline starter, one who could be ready to join the Mets stable of young starters soon."
Matz, 23, was drafted by the Mets in 2009, but soon underwent Tommy John surgery and didn’t begin his professional career until 2012.
Over the last two seasons, Matz has advanced through four levels of the minors, posting ERA’s of 1.55, 2.62, 2.21, and 2.27 along the way.
After advancing to Double-A Binghamton last season, Matz posted a 2.27 ERA and 1.12 WHIP to go along with 8.71 K/9 and 1.77 BB/9 in 71.1 innings pitched (12 starts).
Matz threw 140.2 innings last season split between High-A and Double-A, meaning he’s on track to throw roughly 175 innings in 2015.
Like fellow top prospect Noah Syndergaard, Matz will be in Spring Training with the Mets in less than a month. Also like Syndergaard, Matz is expected to open 2014 in the rotation with Triple-A Las Vegas.
At the beginning of 2014, Noah Syndergaard and Rafael Montero were getting all the hype while Steven Matz was still largely going unnoticed. That isn’t the case anymore.
Matz dominated both levels he was at in 2014, continuing to improve his repertoire while getting his walk rate to a fantastic 1.77.
As has been noted many times in this space, left-handed starters who throw in the mid-90s and can reach the high-90 are extremely rare. Matz.
Matz has more than just an electric fastball, though. As Jonathan Mayo notes in his report, Matz possesses an above average changeup and has a curveball that’s already major league average.
Like Syndergaard, Matz will be in Spring Training with the Mets in less than a month. Also like Syndergaard, Matz is expected to open the 2015 season in the rotation for Triple-A Las Vegas.
There’s not much standing in Matz’ way at the moment, and his Mets debut should come at some point this summer.