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July 22, 2014

Prospects Will Break Your Heart

What Did I Miss: Steven Matz

by Jason Parks


Steven Matz was selected in the second round of the 2009 draft out of Ward Melville High School in East Setauket, NY, which is apparently a breeding ground for notable names, ranging from sporadically funny and continuously fat comedian/actor Kevin James, wrestler Mick Foley, former co-host of America’s Funniest Home Videos John Fugelsang, and Terrance Hobbs, lead guitarist for the death metal band Suffocation. Because of these notable names on his high school’s resume, and more importantly, his southpaw potential on the mound, Matz received a bonus of $895K, almost half a million over the recommend slot. The future was bright.

Unfortunately for Matz, setback arrived before success, as the young lefty’s pitching elbow fell victim to the knife in his first professional spring. Tommy John has a way of limiting the present while also obscuring the future, and when an unproven arm like Matz falls to injury before establishing his prospect bona fides, the journey back to legitimacy is a very long road that must first pass through good health and relevancy. This was 2010. Matz wouldn’t throw his first professional pitch until the summer of 2012.

It wasn’t until the 2013 season that Matz established himself as a legit prospect, which is to say he was finally healthy and showing the necessary physical qualities to project to the major-league level. I was slow to jump on the bandwagon because I had completely forgotten about the player, and to be honest, 22-year-olds pitching well in Low-A aren’t exactly the type of feathers that usually tickle my fancy. But this is where I lost my way from an evaluation standpoint, and it’s important to recognize such a flaw in the process in order to avoid similar pitfalls in the future.

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Related Content:  Prospects,  Scouting,  Minor Leaguers

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article Moonshot: Accounting f... (07/22)
<< Previous Column
Prospects Will Break Y... (06/08)
Next Column >>
Prospects Will Break Y... (08/28)
Next Article >>
Premium Article What You Need to Know:... (07/23)

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