When the Mets selected Franklin Pierce starter Kevin McGowan in the 13th round, they didn’t stop there. They went back to the Franklin Pierce well a second time in the 16th, taking their first baseman, the hulking Zach Mathieu. At 6 feet, 7 inches, and 265 pounds, Mathieu is by far the biggest player the Mets selected, and the Mets are hoping that he’ll be able to provide some punch to the minor league system.
Mathieu’s power production, however, has been spotty. After hitting 13 homers in 2012, he hit just six in 2013, albeit with 19 doubles. When facing inferior pitching in Division II, you’d expect a player with Mathieu’s size and strength to do a little more damage, even once you consider that Division II uses wood bats. He also struggled last summer in Alaska. When he gets his swing just right, the ball can jump off his bat, but it’s a somewhat complicated swing with too many moving parts. He’s wide open and takes little stride, opting instead to just lift and bring down his foot before swinging. Too often, he gets out in front with his hips and weight, sapping him of his power. Strikeouts are always going to be an issue for him, but you’ll be able to live with those if he can start to consistently drive the ball out.
Defensively, he doesn’t move well and is stuck at first base. I don’t know much about his defense other than to say his arm strength is above average.
He’s interesting in that there’s some untapped power in his bat, but contact is going to be a major issue for him once he turns pro and starts to see some quality pitching.