Disclaimer (because someone will ask why a player I didn't see isn't on this list): This is a ranking of the best Mets prospects I saw in person this year. This is not a comprehensive Mets prospect list. I did not see Las Vegas, St. Lucie or the GCL team this year. If a player is not on the list, it is most likely because I did not see him. Otherwise, all rankings are consistent with how I would order the players within the Mets system. Oh yeah, and I am not a scout.
2. Steven Matz, LHP
Age: (as of Opening Day 2014) 22.8
Acquired: 2nd round, 2009
2013: 106.1 IP, 28.3 K%, 8.9 BB%, 86 H, 4 HR for Savannah (A)
Date(s) seen: 4/19/13 @ Lakewood Blue Claws (PHI): 5 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K
The short of it: Matz was finally healthy for a full season, which would be good news just by itself. That he flashed above-average stuff was the icing on the cake.
The long of it: I was really excited to see a finally healthy Matz and he did not disappoint. Fastball was a heavy 91-94 and worked both in and up with it as needed. There is some deception there too, as he hides the ball behind his head during his delivery. Matz was pretty much 90% fastballs, but also showed a slider at 83-84 with some potential. Got a K with a good one, but hung a few that would have been line drives at higher levels (and one that was a line drive at this level). Matz has since scrapped the slider and gone back to the curveball. Didn't show a change, but reports on it have been good. Added velocity during the season, as is to be expected as he got stretched out. Pitched like a dude with more professional experience than he actually has. Delivery has some effort though, and he just kind of stops after release. I wonder how repeatable that is and how it will affect his command/control long term. Also need to see him hold up under a more rigorous starting pitching workload before I handwave his injury history.
The projection: Relief ace/Major-league closer (If I were to project him as a starter, it would be #3 starter/Very High, but I need to see another healthy season and those mechanics worry me)
Risk Factor: High. The best predictor of future pitcher injury is past pitcher injury, so... Also, secondaries need grade jump/more reps.
What’s next: St. Lucie, and posibly a loosening of the reins on the young southpaw.
What I'll be looking for in 2014: Continued health and progress with the curveball and changeup.
And additional Matz talk can be found in Episode 15 of Amazin' Avenue Audio.