Jump to content

Will Matusz be an ACE?


jdouble777

Recommended Posts

In this thread I suppose will have a mixture of:

1. What is an ACE

2. Who are good examples

3. Does Matusz fit the mold?

4. Do we have others?

You're highly overrating our prospects and underrating the guys on the Rays.

Garza throws in the mid 90's and throws a good 2 seamer in the low 90's with movement. I've also seen him throw a solid curveball, slider, and changeup. The man has a 5 pitch arsenal that could completely dominate games at times. No question he has ace stuff, but there's more than just stuff to being an ace. Shields doesn't have ace stuff, but he throws a low 90's 4 seamer and upper 80's two seamer with movement for strikes. His changeup is definitely his best pitch, and he has a curveball to keep hitters off balance. All in all, I agree that Garza and Shields are probably #2 starters, but at least Garza has ace stuff, and both of them are way better than Patton, your super solid #2 starter.

If you're going to call Patton a super solid #2 starter but then say Arrieta is a reach at #1, then you seem to have issues with projection. Patton was a 3/4 guy with a good chance to reach his ceiling. Arrieta is a #2/3 guy with the best stuff out of our big 3. He could put it together and be the best of the group. Matusz and Tillman are projected as solid #2 starters. Also, David Hernandez pitched at AA, not AAA. He also is projected to be a back of the rotation starter/bullpen arm.

So we judge aces by how they handle a lineup in an exhibition game that nobody takes seriously? An ace is a pitcher who puts up the numbers and completely dominates a generation of baseball. The only aces on that list are Santana and Lincecum, and that's if he keeps it up. I guess you could make a case for CC, but he would have to pitch like the second half of last year for a few more seasons to get into big time consideration.

This is from Keith Law's Top 100 Prospects (Weiters #1, Sweetness!!!)

Though Matusz's only pro experience to date came in the Arizona Fall League because he signed late, he's the type of pitcher who can move very quickly through the minors because of his plus secondary stuff, the likes of which many A-ball hitters only see in nightmares.

Matusz throws the kitchen sink at hitters, and none of his pitches is below-average. His fastball sits in the low 90s and touches 94; it's straight, but he'll cut it in the upper 80s for a different look. He throws and commands an 11/5 (1/7 if you prefer, since he's left-handed) curveball with very tight rotation; it breaks downward very late, so a left-handed hitter thinks it's going to be inside only to find himself directed benchward after a called third strike. He has excellent arm speed on his changeup and the pitch has both tumble and fading action.

So why isn't Matusz higher on this list? One reason is the lack of pro experience, which means we have very little idea of his timetable beyond projecting his stuff. The other is his fastball; the velocity is fine, but it's straight, and he has to spot it well or rely more heavily on his secondary stuff, an approach that can work but has some drawbacks, like the increased stress on an elbow from throwing a lot of breaking balls.

His arm action is short and he keeps his pitching elbow low, and the Orioles have cleaned him up -- keeping him more upright through his delivery -- since he signed, so I'm optimistic that he can handle a lifetime of pitching a little bit backwards and develop into a No. 1 or 2 starter.

:mwahaha:

http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/insider/columns/story?columnist=law_keith&id=3847430

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 89
  • Created
  • Last Reply

RANK PLAYER POS. ORGANIZATION '08 RANK #AGE

40 Chris Tillman RHP Baltimore Orioles

TOP '08 LEVEL: AA (Bowie) UR 20

Tillman just missed the cut last year -- he would have been in the next five names -- but took a big step forward this year that makes the un-ranking last year look pretty light.

He really looks the part of a front-of-the-rotation big-league pitcher -- 6-5, 200 pounds, wiry-strong with room to fill out. He's still working out a few kinks on the mound, but the present package is promising. He'll reach 93 with his fastball and sit 90-91, but can add and subtract with it, and gets good life and tail on the pitch. He has a sharp out-pitch curveball with great depth; it looks harder than 74-77 mph, but that is its velocity, buoyed by the tight rotation Tillman gets on the pitch. His changeup has good tumble, but he doesn't have great feel for it, and overall his command is below average.

If he improves his ability to locate the fastball and adds velocity as he fills out, he's a potential No. 2 starter, at least.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

RANK PLAYER POS. ORGANIZATION '08 RANK #AGE

92 Jake Arrieta RHP Baltimore Orioles UR 23

TOP '08 LEVEL: A (Frederick)

Arrieta sits 90-93 with a solid four-pitch mix -- fastball, slider, curve and changeup -- with the slider the best of the three off-speed offerings but nothing plus; he misses bats by adding and subtracting from the fastball and through his willingness to throw any pitch in any count. He has the reputation, dating back to college, of a command/control guy, but both skills are and have always been below average. If he improves his command and control -- if you don't have an out pitch, you can't walk 51 guys in 113 A-ball innings, period -- he has a chance to be a solid No. 3 or No. 4 starter.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I hope so. Otherwise, we might regret picking him over Smoak.

Coming in at #15:

Smoak signed on Aug. 15 -- deadline day -- and had just 56 at-bats in the regular season. But once he started hitting, he didn't stop 'til mid-November. In 124 total plate appearances between the Midwest and Arizona Fall Leagues, he hit .327/.411/.551 with five homers. Smoak is often compared to Mark Teixeira, and there's some logic to it, as both are switch-hitting first basemen with big power and plus gloves. I think of Smoak as more of a switch-hitting Adrian Gonzalez -- he doesn't have quite the same raw power as Teixeira, but has a very disciplined approach at the plate and does have a plus glove at first. Smoak is legit from both sides of the plate, centering the ball extremely well and showing power both to pull and to the opposite field. His path to the ball is short and he sets up almost loaded, with a short move backwards serving as his trigger. His only flaw as a player is his complete lack of speed, which limits him to first base, but he's an excellent fielder there his bat would play anywhere on the diamond.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In this thread I suppose will have a mixture of:

1. What is an ACE

2. Who are good examples

3. Does Matusz fit the mold?

4. Do we have others?

This is from Keith Law's Top 100 Prospects (Weiters #1, Sweetness!!!)

Though Matusz's only pro experience to date came in the Arizona Fall League because he signed late, he's the type of pitcher who can move very quickly through the minors because of his plus secondary stuff, the likes of which many A-ball hitters only see in nightmares.

Matusz throws the kitchen sink at hitters, and none of his pitches is below-average. His fastball sits in the low 90s and touches 94; it's straight, but he'll cut it in the upper 80s for a different look. He throws and commands an 11/5 (1/7 if you prefer, since he's left-handed) curveball with very tight rotation; it breaks downward very late, so a left-handed hitter thinks it's going to be inside only to find himself directed benchward after a called third strike. He has excellent arm speed on his changeup and the pitch has both tumble and fading action.

So why isn't Matusz higher on this list? One reason is the lack of pro experience, which means we have very little idea of his timetable beyond projecting his stuff. The other is his fastball; the velocity is fine, but it's straight, and he has to spot it well or rely more heavily on his secondary stuff, an approach that can work but has some drawbacks, like the increased stress on an elbow from throwing a lot of breaking balls.

His arm action is short and he keeps his pitching elbow low, and the Orioles have cleaned him up -- keeping him more upright through his delivery -- since he signed, so I'm optimistic that he can handle a lifetime of pitching a little bit backwards and develop into a No. 1 or 2 starter.

:mwahaha:

http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/insider/columns/story?columnist=law_keith&id=3847430

I've posted this before, but here is my general definition of a #1:

1. Two pitches that grade out as fringe-plus-plus to plus-plus and another above-average to plus

2. Perhaps one more pitch that is average or better (though depending on the above, this might not be necessary)

3. Plus command

4. Advanced pitchability (knowledge of the "art" and how to game-plan and execute)

5. Durability (both in-game and in-season -- loosely I'll say he has a reasonable chance at 6+ IP each outing, with shorter outings due to effectiveness and not stamina or inability to maintain “stuff”)

6. Usually all of this adds up to a high ability to miss bats, but I wouldn't say that missing bats is a requisite (more often, not missing bats is illustrating a shortcoming in 1-4)

Matusz has to show durability and pitchability as a pro, but he has a chance to satisfy all of the above.

w/r/t Lier's quote you have above, I would strongly disagree with Arrieta having the best stuff out of the big-3. I'd rank ceilings Tillman, Matusz, Arrieta and projection as Matusz, Tillman, Arrieta.

I agree with Law's take on Arrieta -- mid-rotation sort of arm.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good stuff Stotle, thanks for posting. I agree with you on all fronts except I think Matusz's ceiling is the highest, then again, the fact he is more a breaking/off-speed stuff pitcher that bodes high for injury and may not translate well into the majors. However, if he can start to rely more on chang-ups and fastballs, his breaking stuff is as good if not better than anyone I've ever seen/heard about, meaning...anytime he has you with two strikes you better be Ichiro or your going to look like Howard even if your not.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good stuff Stotle, thanks for posting. I agree with you on all fronts except I think Matusz's ceiling is the highest, then again, the fact he is more a breaking/off-speed stuff pitcher that bodes high for injury and may not translate well into the majors. However, if he can start to rely more on chang-ups and fastballs, his breaking stuff is as good if not better than anyone I've ever seen/heard about, meaning...anytime he has you with two strikes you better be Ichiro or your going to look like Howard even if your not.

I like Matusz a ton and think he ends up the better pitcher. That said, Tillman is so good at such a young age (with lots of projection still there) that it's tough for me not to give him the ceiling nod. Close race, though. I'm excited for more people around here to get to see Matusz because I don't think most realize how good he really is.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Proof of how fickle I can be. here's my take from the re-cap I did of the Top 30 prospects at the Depot:

Matusz has the best likelihood of reaching a #1 ceiling. His curveball and changeup can be plus-plus offerings, and his cutter is above-average as well. His fastball is at least average. Matusz has plus-command across the board and already has advanced pitchability. Durability has yet to be tested – he’ll start 2009 by acclimating himself to generally five days or rest rather than six. There’s a question as to how his fastball will play but I am not concerned. He locates it well and shows an advanced understanding of how to effectively mix all of his offerings. So long as he can maintain this balance, he has the potential to be a true #1, with a #2 designation being more likely simply because it’s unreasonable to assume he hits on all cylinders before even beginning his pro career in earnest. He looks like another Cole Hamels with potentially a better fourth offering.

Tillman has the plus-plus potential with his curveball and room in his frame to add velocity to his fastball. He needs to improve his changeup to at least an average offering, as well as improve his command across the board. There’s so much projection and he’s accomplished so much at a young age that I’m hesitant to try and figure where his offerings will ultimately grade-out, but it isn’t unreasonable to project a plus-plus-CB, fringe-plus-plus-FB and an above-average changeup. As discussed above, durability is an issue for now, though he’s still young and building-up arm strength. The raw tools are there for Tillman to develop into a #1, but a #2 seems a more likely ceiling with a decent shot at becoming a #3.

Arrieta has two potential plus-plus offerings in his fastball and slider. Both his curveball and changeup can be average pitches at times, already, and there is room for growth with each. His durability shouldn’t be an issue, but his command is still a ways off across the board. His ceiling looks to be that of an AJ Burnett – plus-plus fastball with a devastating breaking ball (slider rather than curve). Like Burnett, he’ll struggle in those instances where he can’t locate his breaking ball and hitters can sit on his fastball. When he’s on, he could be filthy. He looks to profile as a future #3 with a strong likelihood of providing at least #4 production (based on his durability and the quality of his offerings).

I really do think Matusz is the best of the three, and will be the best of the three. I also think it's tough not to be impressed with what Tillman has already accomplished developmentally given his age.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've posted this before, but here is my general definition of a #1:

Personally, I think we should be very clear in distinguishing between a "#1 pitcher" and a pitcher with "#1 stuff." I think your definition is a scout's definition of who has "#1 stuff," and it is designed to project who will become a "#1 pitcher." But there are "#1 pitchers" who do not have "#1 stuff," and there are pitchers who have "#1 stuff" who never become "#1 pitchers."

I define a "#1 pitcher" by consistenly obtained results, not by what stuff he throws. Show me a guy who finishes in the top 10 in ERA and IP year after year, and he's a "#1 pitcher" so far as I'm concerned, even if he doesn't have all the attributes you described.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Personally, I think we should be very clear in distinguishing between a "#1 pitcher" and a pitcher with "#1 stuff." I think your definition is a scout's definition of who has "#1 stuff," and it is designed to project who will become a "#1 pitcher." But there are "#1 pitchers" who do not have "#1 stuff," and there are pitchers who have "#1 stuff" who never become "#1 pitchers."

I define a "#1 pitcher" by consistenly obtained results, not by what stuff he throws. Show me a guy who finishes in the top 10 in ERA and IP year after year, and he's a "#1 pitcher" so far as I'm concerned, even if he doesn't have all the attributes you described.

But ERA is dependent on your defense, so it isn't really a solid measure of the pitcher. The IP issue is covered in my definition.

I think the definition is certainly from a scouting perspective. I don't have any issue with using past performance to identify #1s, but it's not really relevant to whether that pitcher will perform as a #1 going forward.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest BrettMeister86

What it sounds like to me, and according to those scouting reports that the Orioles have #1, #2, and #3 starting pitchers, all top of the rotation, and tons of potentially VERY good back end rotation guys like Patton, Hernandez, Berken, Bergesen, etc.

Now if they O's draft Crow, and I think they will, he is another projected 1-2 starter then the pitching just starts to look ridiculous.

Matusz, Crow, Hill, Tillman, Arrieta - not to mention the current 2 tier prospects who could ascend (Bergesen, Berken, Hernandez, Erbe, Beato, Zagone, Butler, Bundy)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In this thread I suppose will have a mixture of:

1. What is an ACE

2. Who are good examples

3. Does Matusz fit the mold?

4. Do we have others?

This is from Keith Law's Top 100 Prospects (Weiters #1, Sweetness!!!)

Though Matusz's only pro experience to date came in the Arizona Fall League because he signed late, he's the type of pitcher who can move very quickly through the minors because of his plus secondary stuff, the likes of which many A-ball hitters only see in nightmares.

Matusz throws the kitchen sink at hitters, and none of his pitches is below-average. His fastball sits in the low 90s and touches 94; it's straight, but he'll cut it in the upper 80s for a different look. He throws and commands an 11/5 (1/7 if you prefer, since he's left-handed) curveball with very tight rotation; it breaks downward very late, so a left-handed hitter thinks it's going to be inside only to find himself directed benchward after a called third strike. He has excellent arm speed on his changeup and the pitch has both tumble and fading action.

So why isn't Matusz higher on this list? One reason is the lack of pro experience, which means we have very little idea of his timetable beyond projecting his stuff. The other is his fastball; the velocity is fine, but it's straight, and he has to spot it well or rely more heavily on his secondary stuff, an approach that can work but has some drawbacks, like the increased stress on an elbow from throwing a lot of breaking balls.

His arm action is short and he keeps his pitching elbow low, and the Orioles have cleaned him up -- keeping him more upright through his delivery -- since he signed, so I'm optimistic that he can handle a lifetime of pitching a little bit backwards and develop into a No. 1 or 2 starter.

:mwahaha:

http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/insider/columns/story?columnist=law_keith&id=3847430

Hope he is. Would be great for Baltimore.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But ERA is dependent on your defense, so it isn't really a solid measure of the pitcher. The IP issue is covered in my definition.

I think the definition is certainly from a scouting perspective. I don't have any issue with using past performance to identify #1s, but it's not really relevant to whether that pitcher will perform as a #1 going forward.

That seems like a strange stance to take?:confused:

I also take defense from the pitching position very seriously. The goal of pitching is to limit the other teams runs scored. If a pitchers defense helps with that then why discount it? It is as important as his pitching results.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[/b]

That seems like a strange stance to take?:confused:

I also take defense from the pitching position very seriously. The goal of pitching is to limit the other teams runs scored. If a pitchers defense helps with that then why discount it? It is as important as his pitching results.

I meant the defense provided by the other players on the field. If you have a poor defensive team it can negatively affect a pitcher's ERA and vice versa.

Regarding the bolded part of my quote you referenced, an easy example would be Johan Santana. Let's say his FB dropped 10mph and his CH flattened out. Would he still be considered a #1? By Frobby's definition, probably yes. He still has his consistent ERA/IP from past seasons. But is the past ERA/IP actually relevant to him being a #1 moving forward now that his stuff has diminished?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.




  • Posts

    • Pinto was real close to being at the end of the list along with Rhodes and Armbruester. Pinto's size, his mediocre fastball (91-93), and the fact a lot of  his swing and miss were on chases on the slider or split change makes me want to see him prove it against Double-A pitching.  I was too aggressive with his ranking last year for sure.  Rhodes almost made it, but I just don't see the carrying tool that will allow him to be a starter. He's similar to Haskin and I just prefer Haskin a bit more because he's started to get to his game power a bit while Rhodes has never really shown game power. Rhodes does have better plate discipline and is a good defender on the corners with better speed than Haskin, but Haskin has performed ok at a higher level so he gets the nod for me. Saying that, they are very similar profile guys.
    • The MLB Network had a writer covering the Marlins on the other day and she mentioned Mullins for Lopez and seemed to indicate the Marlins may have to add someone else. I wonder if that is an even trade or if we have to add someone. It seems to me that trading for a young pitcher and signing a veteran would be the best use of our resources.
    • Asking here as honestly have no clue, is the Fan Cost Index sensitive to StubHub, Seatgeek, etc?     My guess is it uses the Clubs List Price, but like everything else in the world that's just the starting point of a negotiation. Now that the team is better and the kiddo old enough, will probably get back more next season, but know I'm behind on the most efficient consumer practices for any given day.     The Yard won't be as full as it'll get in a few years, so imagining surge pricing will only be taking baby steps in 2023.
    • I don't think we really disagree about much. There is wide array of ticket prices. And I think even Fan Price Index shows the Orioles being particularly fair, and if I recall correctly their family of four number for 2022 was $156 You're reading my comments as if they were directed at the Orioles. They were not. Nor were they a criticism, as much as an identification of one of the factors that is feeding the decline of generational popularity in baseball. Many of us have a love for the game. For me that love was cemented by two things. My Dad taking me to the ballpark as a kid... and my Little League experience as a kid.  Affordability was a big part of that. When I was a kid we didn't have two nickles to rub together. My father worked two jobs to make ends meet. Mom delivered newspapers to keep us ahead of the bills. But we could still afford to go to 33rd St a couple times a year... Saw Mark Belanger hit a home run...  that was a rare feat.. and I had a ratty old mitt and some fish-heads to play Little League with. I found old deposit bottles in the woods and took 'em to the 7-11 to buy baseball cards. That's where I fell in love with the game. Eventually my father built a very successful business. and we didn't have to worry about that kind of thing.. But I kept my love for the game that was built in those early experiences. Baseball was once literally the cost of a matinee movie...  stands were packed... all the time... but slowly.. generationally.. this has changed... the last generation to FULLY embrace baseball were boomers...  I guess there's a part of me that thinks selling out every game ...and families embracing is early might change the trajectory baseball is on... wishful thinking maybe      
    • The same thing happened in San Francisco when Roman was there.   They had one truly great season with Kaepernick, and then nothing.   Not that I'm comparing Lamar to Kaepernick, but at their best under Roman, they are pretty similar. I don't know if they are using this system because they think Lamar can't handle a more complex system, or because Roman is stuck using the same stuff over and over.    Roman needs to be gone regardless of what happens with Lamar.  They need to get rid of Ricard and start running a real pro-style offense.   
    • I guess I’ve reached the point of the off-season where I’m at do we really need to add a bat?  Stowers and Vavra spent the last 1/3 of the season up. Westburg is ready. Cowser could be ready are June.    Is Brantley, Voit, or Mancini worth even a one year deal?  I could see us rolling with what we have, figuring out what we have, and signing a vet depth bat like Jesus Aguilar to a milb deal with a ST invite. If we need a bat, we can always get a rental at the deadline. 
  • Popular Contributors

  • Popular Now

×
×
  • Create New...