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Mets promote Steven Matz: Fantasy impact

Ray offers his take on the Mets promotion of another one of their top pitching prospects Steven Matz.

Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets have officially promoted top pitching prospect Steven Matz to pitch in today's game vs the Reds. Matz has pitched well in AAA and is the last of the top pitching prospects in the Mets minor league system to make the big league roster, at least for the foreseeable future.

Here is what Jason Hunt wrote about him in his preseason Mets Top 10 Fantasy Prospects for 2015 profile:

A 2010 draftee, Matz did not debut professionally until 2012 after having Tommy John surgery. Since then, he has been pitching his way toward the majors, with a pair of excellent performances at both High-A and Double-A in 2014. He averaged nearly a strikeout per inning, got a ton of ground balls, and didn't really see a drop-off when he moved up to the higher level.

Matz uses a three-pitch repertoire consisting of a fastball, curveball, and changeup, with all three pitches projecting as average or better. His delivery is very clean and consistent, and allows him to help command all three pitches well. The fact that he has already had Tommy John surgery would be a bit more concerning if it weren't more than three years ago at this point, and given that he was able to increase his workload to 140 innings in 2014, should not be particularly concerning going forward.

The team added him to the 40-man roster after the 2013 season, and will use up another option in 2015. It's possible he could head straight to AAA Las Vegas, but more likely it seems that he would return to AA to start the year, and end the season in Vegas instead. He has the potential to be a mid-rotation fantasy starting pitcher if it all works out, providing good ratios and a solid strikeout total as well.

Tim Finnegan saw Matz pitch in spring training and profiled him in this piece back in March, loaded with gifs of his spring training appearance:

Impressions of Mets LHP Steven Matz from Spring Training

Tim followed that piece up with this article back on May 28th with quotes from scouts along with more gifs:

MLB Prospect Watch: Scouts weigh in on Mets LHP Steven Matz

Tim offered his take on the impact Matz could have on fantasy rosters upon his call up in this excerpt from the May 28th article:

It's unclear when exactly Matz will be called up, but he needs to be on every fantasy owner's radar for the rest of the year. When Matz finally does make it up to the big leagues, he's a strong candidate to provide an above average ERA with an above average strikeout total, with upside for more.

Matz has pitched well throughout his minor league career, showing the ability to strike out batters and keep the ball in the park, even pitching in the Pacific Coast League. (Stats courtesy of FanGraphs)

Season

W

L

SV

GS

IP

K/9

BB/9

ERA

FIP

2012

2

1

0

6

29

10.55

5.28

1.55

3.67

2013

5

6

0

21

106.1

10.24

3.22

2.62

2.91

2014

4

4

0

12

69.1

8.05

2.73

2.21

2.73

2014

6

5

0

12

71.1

8.71

1.77

2.27

2.64

2015

7

4

0

14

90.1

9.37

3.09

2.19

3.41

2015

2

2

0

5

35

8.72

3.11

3.56

3.58

Matz has pitched slightly better than his FIP over the last few seasons, and that may continue in the big leagues. The Mets are going with a six man rotation right now, but I think if Matz passes his "audition" they will look to deal Jon Niese or move him to the bullpen. Should Matz pitch well enough starting today, the Mets will have a rotation that appears to be one of the better starting rotations in the game:

Matt Harvey

Jacob deGrom

Noah Syndergaard

Steven Matz

Bartolo Colon

Jon Niese

Fantasy Impact

I agree with Tim's fantasy take above, as I see Matz offering owners solid strikeout totals and and above league average ERA. Like Syndergaard, there will be some ups and downs, but he should have more quality starts than disaster starts, assuming he remains in the Mets rotation for the rest of the season, which I think he should. He will have to reign in his command in the big leagues, but he has shown the ability to do that in the minors.

Matz should be picked up in all NL only and deep mixed leagues at this point. He is one of the few top pitching prospects remaining in the minors that will see a call up this season, barring a late season call up of Julio Urias by the Dodgers. Depending upon your league FAAB budget, I would be willing to spend up to $15-17 on Matz if you have a pitching need.