Smooth mechanics 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.
St. Lucie Mets (High A, Mets)
55, No. 3 Starter
Command: average; better to arm-side, struggled to come inside to right-handed hitters and frequently missed inside. Movement: relatively straight; exploding action.
Notes: 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.
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.
Notes: 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.
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.
Notes: Needs to gain consistency from pitch to pitch with change up, 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.
Matz's overall package looks like he's setting himself up well for a number of years in the middle of a major league rotation. Injuries set him back, but now that he's healthy he's developing well and should move quickly through the minors. He has the potential for two above-average pitches and a third average offering. His fastball velocity should allow him to miss bats and his command of it doesn't have too far to go to be truly effective. His curveball will be effective against lefties, and he's comfortable throwing it to right-handed hitters to keep them honest. If the change-up continues to develop, he'll have three offerings he can throw any hitter at any time. His mechanics have been refined from previous reports to the point where they really help his stuff play up. He repeats his delivery well and there is little effort in the motion.
As he continues to gain experience and remain healthy, Matz has a chance to become a number two starter while likely setting in as a mid-rotation guy.