No. 10: Steven Matz, LHP
Drafted by the Mets in the second round of the 2009 MLB Amateur Draft (Ward Melville HS - NY).
2013 was a banner season for the big lefty as he was finally able to stay on the field. In fact, prior to '13 Matz had appeared in just six professional games, which made his 21 starts for the Gnats last summer a revelation. That's because he showed us right away that the stuff that made him the Mets top selection back in 2009 is still as impressive as ever. In fact, despite the lack of reps his electric fastball seems to have even gained a tick or two, working into the high-90s from the left side. This allowed him to strike out nearly 30% of the batters he faced and though he'll have to work on his command, the fact that he allowed just 86 hits in 106 innings tells you all you need to know about the stuff. In terms of the secondary repertoire the change shows good promise while his breaking ball lags behind -- likely a product of lack of reps.
For that reason, the Mets recently added Matz to their 40-man roster -- an irregular move considering the 22-year-old's distance from the majors. That said, it became clear very quickly that Matz is still a very special arm and someone that couldn't be risked in the Rule 5 draft. Based on his dominant performance in 2013, it's fair to say that despite somewhat standard issues about sharpening command, shoring up his breaking ball, and effectively repeating his delivery, if the Long Island native can stay healthy the ceiling is somewhere near the top of a major league rotation. The fastball alone establishes the floor as a very effective lefty bullpen piece. In the nearer term, this is a player that could vie for the system's top spot by the middle of next summer.