Tyler Matzek Scouting Report (Early 2010)
With a nasty streak and the stuff to back it up, Tyler Matzek took the mound to a gaggle of scouts and media members clamoring for a look at who I consider to be the biggest prospect who is still somewhat of a mystery on the blogosphere. Sure, we have all heard the name, but his spending the first couple of months of the season in extended spring training has left him much less covered than other top prospects such as Stephen Strasburg or Mike Trout.
In only his third professional start, Matzek did not disappoint as he shut down the Savannah Sand Gnats for six dominant innings after allowing a leadoff home run to Mets prospect Alonzo Harris.
Physique & Athleticism – Sturdy and well-proportioned, Matzek looks to be close to a finished product in terms of build. He’s compact for a pitcher listed at 6’3″ due to his athleticism and easily repeatable mechanics. His arm action is fluid and allows for easy velocity and arm whip. At no point did it seem as if he was really exerting himself to dial up the fastball a couple of ticks.
In reviewing my video on him, it’s uncanny how his release point is almost identical with each pitch. Even the best pitchers at this level are prone to inconsistency. Matzek was nearly picture perfect.
Mound Presence – Full of swagger and a nasty streak to boot, Matzek will not be particularly popular in opposing dugouts. Slow and methodical, He lives on the inner half of the plate with his fastball and is not afraid to ear hole a batter with an 0-2 or 1-2 waste pitch. His confidence is off the charts as well it should be. In the bullpen, Matzek was focused and knew exactly what he wanted to accomplish. On this occasion, he took the same intensity to the mound with him.
Fastball – Matzek sat at 88-91 MPH in the first inning, but worked in the low-90’s the rest of the outing. He peaked in the 3rd inning sitting 92-94 MPH. It was the hardest fastball I have seen from a left-handed pitching prospect in my time watching players. With downward plane, he attacked Sand Gnats hitters on the hands challenging them to turn on the pitch. Very few could leading to only four hits allowed and eight strikeouts.
For the most part, his accuracy was pinpoint, but he suffered a couple of lapses in the outing in which he threw a handful of high fastballs up leading to quick walks. As he continues to mature, this minor issue should work itself out. With his over-the-top arm action, his four-seam movement may be limited. but a 2-seem fastball at 88-91 MPH showed arm-side run away from right-handed hitters.
Curveball – At 81-83 MPH, Matzek’s curveball looked more like a slider in its break and velocity. With sharp 2-7 break, the pitch was an above-average offering down in the zone. However, it was a bit inconsistent leading to a handful of “hangers” the Sand Gnats were unable to capitalize on. The offering has a ton of promise and is already plenty strong for the level.
Changeup – Thrown only twice in game action, I was disappointed Matzek did not work the pitch into his arsenal after working through the lineup a time or two. In the pen, he kept the pitch low with some downward action and arm side fade. It could be a real weapon as he matures and I hope he begins to feature it more.
In most instances, I’m left scratching my head after seeing top prospects pass through Savannah. With Matzek, there was no doubt. With both present ability and future projection left, he has the ability to become one of the top pitching prospects in all of baseball if he isn’t one already. I look forward to seeing him later in the month, and hopefully again in September.
23 Jan 2014 / Mike Newman /
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