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http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/draft/draft-preview/2008/266128.html

They like Matusz...Is that because he is that good or just the top pitcher and he is getting top billing because of that?

CRstoner's boy, G Bex, is really moving up the charts...Seems to me that he may not end up being a reach afterall....While I would probably prefer Smoak or Hosmer, I would have no issue with GBex...he will probably be an easy sign and be able to get into Frederick or Bowie quickly.

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http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/draft/draft-preview/2008/266128.html

They like Matusz...Is that because he is that good or just the top pitcher and he is getting top billing because of that?

CRstoner's boy, G Bex, is really moving up the charts...Seems to me that he may not end up being a reach afterall....While I would probably prefer Smoak or Hosmer, I would have no issue with GBex...he will probably be an easy sign and be able to get into Frederick or Bowie quickly.

Matusz is very good. The issues scouts have are some quirks in his mechanics. I think they are being blown out of proportion by the people talking to the scouts...

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Matusz is very good. The issues scouts have are some quirks in his mechanics. I think they are being blown out of proportion by the people talking to the scouts...

I'm worried that people are overrating his "safe" factor, his pitchability factor, and his close-to-MLB-ready factor.

I think he falls in the Andrew Miller and Ross Detwiler mold, which isn't all that bad, but anybody thinking Matusz is going to be a top of the rotation starter I think is going to be disappointed.

He has a couple above average to plus breaking pitches, but an average fastball (which is mainly mechanics related), and his stuff doesn't really have a "wow" factor.

My preference would be to take one of the college position players or if they prefer a pitcher, to pick Aaron Crow. Crow does have top of the rotation potential and has three plus pitches he can throw for strikes.

Crow has riskier mechanics, but a good development team should help correct any mechanical flaws in his delivery. But he gives you a legit potential top of the rotation starter.

One positive for Matusz is the Orioles seem to do a good job in developing pitchers without hurting the velocity they throw with or even actually improving it.

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It's not worth a separate thread because I wouldn't consider the Sporting News top of the line for baseball anymore, but they list Tim Melville (15 to BA I think it was) as the best high school prospect---above Beckham and Hosmer---and Gerrit Cole as number 4 above Skipworth. I hadn't seen Cole discussed here at all, and Melville has dropped out of discussions since beginning the year in a triumvirate of pitchers with Matusz and Crow. Any insights on why he dropped and where would you put him now?

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It's not worth a separate thread because I wouldn't consider the Sporting News top of the line for baseball anymore, but they list Tim Melville (15 to BA I think it was) as the best high school prospect---above Beckham and Hosmer---and Gerrit Cole as number 4 above Skipworth. I hadn't seen Cole discussed here at all, and Melville has dropped out of discussions since beginning the year in a triumvirate of pitchers with Matusz and Crow. Any insights on why he dropped and where would you put him now?

That is like beginning of the season rankings. I would drop Melville down below Matusz, Crow, Hunt, Cole, and even an injured Scheppers. I don't see him going until late 1st, or 2nd round now. Just an off-ish season, and improvement of other prospects did him in.

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I didn't realize Matusz's strikeout numbers were so good. That breaking pitch must be pretty darn good.

He works his fastball off of the breaking stuff. Despite not having a plus-fastball, he gets a lot of K's with players looking offspeed.

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He works his fastball off of the breaking stuff. Despite not having a plus-fastball, he gets a lot of K's with players looking offspeed.

Yeah, I thought a lot of scouts were down on him because he doesn't pitch off his fastball.

This question is directed at you or NoVaO or anyone who can chime in: I saw a short video of him pitching and it looked to me like he doesn't really use his lower body at all. Short stride and doesn't seem to use his legs much in his delivery. I'm no expert at all on pitching mechanics, but is this what scouts have been concerned with? If his mechanics were adjusted could he use his legs to gain a couple MPH on his fastball?

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Yeah, I thought a lot of scouts were down on him because he doesn't pitch off his fastball.

This question is directed at you or NoVaO or anyone who can chime in: I saw a short video of him pitching and it looked to me like he doesn't really use his lower body at all. Short stride and doesn't seem to use his legs much in his delivery. I'm no expert at all on pitching mechanics, but is this what scouts have been concerned with? If his mechanics were adjusted could he use his legs to gain a couple MPH on his fastball?

NoVaO probably knows better. My issue is that he tends to land with a stiff leg which 1) as you mention takes away from his velocity, and 2) could be cause for injury concern down the line. He still sits in the low-90s, and I like his secondary stuff a lot. Further, the rest of his motion is so compact and repeatable I have sort of shrugged off the stiff leg issue. I think he can work through it. I understand the concerns though.

Maybe NoVaO could give a better take...

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Yeah, I thought a lot of scouts were down on him because he doesn't pitch off his fastball.

This question is directed at you or NoVaO or anyone who can chime in: I saw a short video of him pitching and it looked to me like he doesn't really use his lower body at all. Short stride and doesn't seem to use his legs much in his delivery. I'm no expert at all on pitching mechanics, but is this what scouts have been concerned with? If his mechanics were adjusted could he use his legs to gain a couple MPH on his fastball?

Sure. There are numerous ways to improve velocity. The problem is that changing the mechanics of a pitcher are easier said than done and you always want the pitcher you draft to need as little tweaking as possible. Sometimes you don't want to take the risk of messing a pitcher up by changing their mechanics.

Matusz can hit 94 at times so he has it in him. He should be able to lengthen his stride without too many problems, which would give his fastball a better perceived velocity and possibly even better actual velocity.

But he has to become more efficient using his body if he wants to really improve his actual velocity and one way would be to increase the separation between his torso and hips. Tim Lincecum is the best example of a pitcher that creates a great separation between the torso and hips.

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Sure. There are numerous ways to improve velocity. The problem is that changing the mechanics of a pitcher are easier said than done and you always want the pitcher you draft to need as little tweaking as possible. Sometimes you don't want to take the risk of messing a pitcher up by changing their mechanics.

Matusz can hit 94 at times so he has it in him. He should be able to lengthen his stride without too many problems, which would give his fastball a better perceived velocity and possibly even better actual velocity.

But he has to become more efficient using his body if he wants to really improve his actual velocity and one way would be to increase the separation between his torso and hips. Tim Lincecum is the best example of a pitcher that creates a great separation between the torso and hips.

My site is getting nailed in the past two hours from MLB trade rumors because I mentioned Brian Matusz in passing. I was pretty much paraphrasing and thinking out loud. Hope it sent some new viewers to Baseball Intellect.

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http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/draft/draft-preview/2008/266128.html

They like Matusz...Is that because he is that good or just the top pitcher and he is getting top billing because of that?

CRstoner's boy, G Bex, is really moving up the charts...Seems to me that he may not end up being a reach afterall....While I would probably prefer Smoak or Hosmer, I would have no issue with GBex...he will probably be an easy sign and be able to get into Frederick or Bowie quickly.

Matusz 6 to 1 strikeout to walk ratio may have something to do with it. Last year TB drafted David Price who was projected as a "can't miss" #1. Matusz is being projected as a "can't miss". but could be hurt due to poor mechanics #2. If the guys ceiling is a #2, I would pass. The only two guy's that really excite me are 1.) Alvarez and 2.) Smoak. It's not that the rest of the guys can't play. It is that O's need someone who can progress through the system in 18 months or less and start at 1B/3B.

They need a SS too, but the High School kid isn't making the jump in a year. Guys with College expertise like Wieters, can sometimes make that jump. If the O's want a SS, go sign Edward Salcedo. If he is a wash, you rolled the dice. If one of the two prospects (Salcedo or our #4 draft pick) becomes an above average player then it worked out well for us. If both contribute to strengthen the team, that would be even better.

Signing a strong international player would aid in putting the Orioles overseas scouting department on the map. I just can't get excited over the Orioles drafting another pitcher! I hope that KC takes Matusz and we do not have a chance to draft a pitcher.

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Matusz 6 to 1 strikeout to walk ratio may have something to do with it. Last year TB drafted David Price who was projected as a "can't miss" #1. Matusz is being projected as a "can't miss". but could be hurt due to poor mechanics #2. If the guys ceiling is a #2, I would pass. The only two guy's that really excite me are 1.) Alvarez and 2.) Smoak. It's not that the rest of the guys can't play. It is that O's need someone who can progress through the system in 18 months or less and start at 1B/3B.

They need a SS too, but the High School kid isn't making the jump in a year. Guys with College expertise like Wieters, can sometimes make that jump. If the O's want a SS, go sign Edward Salcedo. If he is a wash, you rolled the dice. If one of the two prospects (Salcedo or our #4 draft pick) becomes an above average player then it worked out well for us. If both contribute to strengthen the team, that would be even better.

Signing a strong international player would aid in putting the Orioles overseas scouting department on the map. I just can't get excited over the Orioles drafting another pitcher! I hope that KC takes Matusz and we do not have a chance to draft a pitcher.

Matusz is far from a "can't miss". He is the best pitcher in the draft, but he is not in the league of Price.

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My site is getting nailed in the past two hours from MLB trade rumors because I mentioned Brian Matusz in passing. I was pretty much paraphrasing and thinking out loud. Hope it sent some new viewers to Baseball Intellect.

Yup, saw it in my traffic reports this morning and it is definitely much appreciated. In regards to the video I use, I am very careful to make sure the video is representative of the player's actual mechanics and stuff. Using video also allows me to watch a player's mechanics in slow motion and pick up stuff that may not be seen with the naked eye.

I'll be sure to return the favor at some point in the near future.

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