April 16, 2011
Tyler Matzek – LHP
Colorado Rockies #1 Prospect – Baseball America Handbook
#32 Overall Prospect – Baseball America – 2011
Scouting Trip: April 14, 2011
Modesto Nuts (Rockies) vs Stockton Ports (A’s)
A+ Minor League Game
Born: Oct. 19, 1990 Drafted: 1st #11 ’09 Bonus: $3.9 Million
Baseball America Handbook Listed : Ht: 6-3 Wt: 213
Modesto Nuts Official Roster Listed: Ht: 6-3 Wt: 210
I came into this game – Tyler Matzek’s second start of the 2011 season – excited to see what the Rockies #1 overall prospect had to offer. Matzek was one of the top high school arms available in the 2009 MLB Draft and might have been picked higher if he didn’t let it be known that he wanted huge money to sign. I remember watching an interview with him after he was picked. Fresh with a diamond stud in one ear, he sounded more like an agent then a player who just realized his dream. The Rockies eventually ponied up record money to get him to sign and he begins 2011 on the Modesto Nuts A+ Minor League roster as the #3 starter in the rotation.
In his first start of 2011 – against the same Ports team – he got lit up in 3 innings for 5 hits, 4 walks, and 6 ER. Ouch. The Stockton Ports don’t have much of a lineup this year outside of Michael Choice and Max Stassi. I didn’t see his first start on 4/9/2011 – but this one had to be at least a little better……. but just a little.
Pre-Game Observations: First thing first. diamond stud in ear? Nah, that’s probably against the rules anyways as it would distract the hitter. There must not be any die-hard Rockies fans in Stockton because nobody was seeking his autograph and nobody seemed to know that he is the most prized arm in the Rockies minor league system. I got so many unbelievable pictures (for my standards) of Matzek during this time that it made getting to the park early worth it.
Matzek was casual out there. He seemed like he was tired – but his fastball had life during the game – so perhaps that is just his normal pre-game demeanor. He can uncork fastballs without much drive in his legs. It was the Ports home opener and Matzek had to stop his pre-game long-toss when a helicopter landed in center field. Is he ‘soft’ in a few areas of his body? He is not an impressive looking athlete, but is a legit 6-3″ and could easily be heavier then the 213 the Nuts have him listed at.
Game Action – 1st Inning
First two warm-up pitches? Bounced in the dirt. Batter one? 4-pitch walk. Uh-oh. The radar gun at Banner Island Ballpark in Stockton, CA was spotty at best – and during the first AB it only registered a 91 MPH fastball, no other pitch speed showed up on the scoreboard. Batter two? Two straight balls to open the AB. He isn’t missing by much with the first 6-pitches. Mostly high, with the fastball and a couple, what Baseball America says is a slider, that tops out at about 87 MPH but didn’t feature much sharp movement. Matzek gets out of the 2-0 hole when Dusty Coleman flies out to center on a fastball that registered 92 on the gun.
Matzek has a decent move to 1st base and is somewhat deceptive in his look over. A couple times it seemed like he wasn’t even checking the runner at first, but he tilts his hat down low and will peak while keeping his head looking toward home plate. It kept Ports runner Conner Crumbliss close which helped when Michael Choice stepped up with one out in the inning. Matzek got behind the A’s #3 rated prospect and Choice fouled off a couple fastballs that hit 94 MPH on the gun. Finally on 3-2, Matzek blew Choice away on a high fastball and with Crumbliss running at first it ended up being a strike-out, throw out double play at second. Matzek was a little shaky with his control but he escapes with the high heat.
Game Action – 2nd Inning
The 2nd ended up being Matzek’s best inning of his short outing. He made a nice play on a come-backer from A’s #6 rated prospect Max Stassi. It seemed like Matzek was working his slider a little bit more this inning and it cost him in the AB with Kent Walton as he walked him with two outs. Ports OF Rashun Dixon then got himself into a 2-0 count but ended up getting blown away by Matzek’s fastball which was hitting 91-94 all game.
Game Action – 3rd Inning
Uh-Oh. Bad inning. Matzek walked Anthony Aliotti and then the next batter, Juan Nunez had no interest in swinging but Matzek couldn’t throw a strike. Another walk. The Modesto Nuts pitching coach went to the mound, and it seemed to work – Matzek then found his grove and got Crumbliss and then Dusty Coleman to strike out. But he couldn’t get out of the inning when on the 8th pitch of the AB to Choice was a fastball singled hard to center – scoring Aliotti. Matzek then struck out Stassi to strike out the side, but with 2 walks and a hit mixed in.
Game Action – 4th Inning
He just didn’t have it this game. To start the 4th Leonardo Gil singled hard to right. Walton popped out meekly to 2nd but that was it for Matzek.
3.1 IP 2 H 1 ER 4 BB 5 SO
- Michael Choice – Stockton Ports Prospect – Vol. 1
- Michael Choice OF – Stockton Ports Prospect – Vol. 2
- Rashun Dixon OF – Stockton Ports Prospect – Vol 1
- Max Stassi C – Stockton Ports Prospect – Vol. 1