Yesterday, the Rockies demoted Tyler Matzek from Modesto to Asheville. Obviously, this is bad news, but I’d like to get one thing straight before I continue. There is absolutely no reason whatsoever to give up on Tyler Matzek. This demotion isn’t good, but his potential is still very high. Regardless, this had to happen. There was no point in leaving him in Modesto only to have his confidence destroyed.
It’s very important to remember that he’s just twenty years-old. Not that I’m much better now, but when I was twenty, I was pretty much a nut job. I suspect there has been an element of immaturity in Matzek’s struggles.
So far this year, Tyler has had problems in two key areas. He’s giving up too many walks and home runs, both of which are products of him having trouble with fastball location. Command is something most pitchers struggle with early in their careers. Some guys eventually figure it out and some don’t. The good news is that both his immaturity and command are issues that he might eventually work through. The list of major league pitchers that have faced these concerns is a very, very long list.
Again, I don’t consider this good news, but I’m keeping the faith. Recently, Project Prospect released a video of Matzek pitching for Modesto. From what I could tell in the video, his stuff is still very solid. His fastball had plenty of velocity with nice, late movement. At times, his curveball was very sharp and he was able to induce some ugly swings with it. Also, he does a nice job of delivering the two pitches from the same arm slot. However, it was obvious that he is having a lot of trouble locating the fastball. That’s causing him to get behind in counts which almost always leads to a mistake.
Right now, the best thing for Tyler is probably just a little success. Even though he struggled in High-A, he still maintained a 10.09 K/9. In Low-A, that ratio should be in even more impressive. If he can settle into a grove and harness his fastball, he might be back in Modesto before the season ends.
Final note: Asheville has enough talent to make wins inevitable this year. They are stacked with prospects in the outfield. More importantly, they now have the most intriguing pitching staff in the Rockies’ system with Matzek, Peter Tago, Albert Campos, Edwar Cabrera, and Josh Slaats. I’m accepting donations for a trip to Asheville. If you want to send me money, just shoot me an e-mail.
Here’s Project Prospect’s video on Matzek: