By The Baseball Beginnings Guy
August 18, 2010
As a young pro in his first full season, it’s fairly obvious from a developmental standpoint to see what the Rockies are having left-hander Tyler Matzek work on. He came into pro ball with a curveball he trusted and a change-up he rarely used. The Rockies, for all intents and purposes, told him to shelf the curveball and learn to compete with his weakest pitch to make himself better. They also had him work on tightening up his delivery to get better downhill plane.
The numbers are solid but irrelevant in the long term, because these are developmental stats more than they are performance stats. Matzek feels that, by and large, most of the walks he has allowed have come from not yet being able to consistently throw the change-up for strikes. The other weapons are there, which is why in his first 12 starts and 60 2/3 innings for Asheville, he had allowed 48 hits, a solid figure, and 40 walks, a number he wants to get down. He had 63 strikeouts, so there’s the fastball that in high school was 87-90 early in the spring 2009 draft cycle and 90-94 as he loosened up.
Matzek, 19, explained how he feels his velocity and command have been steady this season. He’s had a few moments where he questioned himself, especially in situations where he has had to learn to compete with what prior to this season had been his third or fourth best pitch. That comes with the turf, but much of being a young pro is about learning how to battle when you’re learning on the job. This is what ancient big leaguers mean when they talk about not getting too high or too low. The game is too hard not to hang on tight to proper perspective.
Baseball Beginnings and Matzek caught up again recently to break down his first season, the ups and the downs of being a new pro, and what factors have gone into the numbers that have come up so far. He’s from our very first draft class, 2009, and we’re always glad to welcome him back to the site.