Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Lefty Matzek, Possible Future Oriole?

MLB Outsider over at MVN is putting together a mock baseball draft in anticipation of the June Rule IV. I was invited to participate as the representative of the Orioles, but I wasn't able to and recommended the guys at Camden Depot instead, given their great work for the draft last year.

They made their pick at #5, and it was left-handed pitcher Tyler Matzek:
"Matzek was number two on our draft board, preseason, and we were thrilled to see him still around at pick 1:5 in the draft. The lefty has everything we'd look for in a High School arm, including refined secondary pitches, control, command, poise and pitchability. Comparisons have been made to our 2008 first-round selection, Brian Matusz, and we think they fit (though Matzek could end up with a plus fastball to go with his impressive secondary arsenal)...

Stuff:

Fastball - Matzek sits in the low-90s with his fastball, getting good life and occasionally creeping up around 94. Though the velocity is nice, the command is equally impressive. With a little room in his frame, it's conceivable that Matzek ends up in early Clinton range (92-96) when all is said and done. Even if he stays where he is, the pitch is above-average and plus when command is taken into consideration. He doesn't add any effort to bump up to around 94, when he does.

Curveball - Matzek's curve isn't a true 12/6 breaker, but flashes plus depth and late bite and should be a plus pitch once he gets a little more consistency. It sits in the upper-70s, serving as a nice change of pace pitch and could ultimately be more devestating than his slider because of the velo differential from his fastball. There's good projection still left in the pitch.

Slider - Matzek's slider is currently his best secondary pitch, showing tight late bite and sweeping action. He throws it from the same slot as his fastball, making it difficult for the hitter to pick up. Throughout the summer, it was generally in the low-80s, and most reports from the spring have him sitting in the same range.

Changeup - Matzek shows good feel for his changeup, a potential fourth above-average offering that has some depth and fade. As he increases his feel for the pitch, it could become his most effective weapons against righties, diving down and away."
Totally fine and defensible pick, but I still remain wary of picking pitchers this high in the draft. The track-record for being worth the investment just isn't that good; especially when compared to position players. There's a lot of uncertainty after Strasburg so best player on the board it is, and Matzek may legitimately be that guy. Also, I like the Matusz-Matzek combo in successive years for silly name reasons.

1 comment:

Heath said...

According to Baseball America, Keith LAw, etc...the draft after Strasburg is pretty thin up top. I would imagine picking the best player available would be the way to go since most of the 1st rounders this year will be risky.