It's been a long time coming for LHP Steven Matz. The left-hander from Long Island had to wait over three years from the day the Mets drafted him to throw his first professional pitch in a game that counted. The Mets selected the Matz in the second round in 2009, with the 72nd overall selection that year. Tommy John surgery in May 2010, and then a setbacks in 2011 and in early 2012, forced his professional debut all the way back to June 20, 2012 when he threw 3.1 innings in Princeton for the Kingsport Mets.
Released into the wild of the Appalachian League, his armstrength leaves room to dream. He's grown into his 6'2" frame and his fastball has been sitting 93-95 mph. He's been mixing in a curve and a changeup that both, according to a scout who saw his most recent outing on July 9, have a chance to be average offerings. His July 9 start, when he did not allow a run on one hit while striking out six in six innings was easily his best in his four professional tries.
Matz, who turned 21 on May 29, has already?re-calibrated?his own expectations for 2012. "The goal [coming into the year] was get on the mound and be healthy," he said "Now that I know I'm healthy, physically healthy, the goal is just try to have a good season now [and] keep my walks down, which I haven't really done so far. Just commanding all of my pitches." ?Matz has walked 11 batters in his first 17 professional innings.