25-Year-Old Pitcher – Free Agent
2015 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
Drafted by the Nationals in 2011 despite known arm issues, Purke has so far been a medical risk that hasn't panned out for the club. Between his 2012 shoulder surgery and 2014 Tommy John procedure, th...
Matt Purke Contract Information:
Signed a minor league contract with an invite to spring training in November of 2014.
Purke re-signed with the Nationals on a minor league contract that includes an invite to spring training.
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Matt Purke: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
The Nationals treated Purke with kid gloves after 2012 shoulder surgery, and while the cautious approach seemed to pay off when he dominated Low-A in six appearances the lefty found High-A to be a lot more challenging after a promotion. He'll turn 24 this season, an age at which a lot of pitchers with his talent and pedigree would be knocking on the door to the majors in they weren't already there, so if Purke looks fully healthy this spring expect the Nats to challenge him with an aggressive promotion schedule. A big campaign could put him firmly in the club's 2015 plans.
Purke got first-round money after dropping to the third round in 2011 due to concerns over the health of his shoulder, and those concerns proved to be well-founded as he made just three starts last year before going under the knife. The surgery was not serious, as shoulder surgeries go, and he should move quickly through the system if he is at full strength given his plus fastball/slider combo and developing changeup. The Nationals' pitching depth is as good as anyone's though, so Purke likely will not be a factor in the majors until 2014 at the earliest.
Purke was taken in the third round of the 2011 draft by the Nationals after being a former first-round pick by the Rangers in 2009. Many considered him one of the top pitchers heading into the draft, but shoulder bursitis cut his velocity and limited his innings. His fastball sits in the low-90s, and can touch 96 mph. He also implements an above average slider and a fringe change-up. Expect him to spend most of the season in Double-A, and it would be a surprise if he gets any major league action in 2012.