This article is part of our Minor League Barometer series.
Let's talk about the next big-name prospect likely to receive a promotion to the big leagues: Steven Matz of the New York Mets. Matz has been dominating the hitter-friendly confines of the Pacific Coast League, and rumors are swirling that he could be promoted on July 1. The 23-year-old southpaw has a 2.11 ERA and 86:31 K:BB ratio in 85.1 innings for Triple-A Las Vegas. While he obviously has swing-and-miss stuff, what really makes him effective is the ability to keep the ball down in the zone. Matz has a 1.75 GO:AO ratio, meaning he surrenders almost two ground balls for every one fly ball. While he has allowed five home runs in 14 games this season, that likely has more to do with where he is pitching than how he is pitching. In 63 starts prior to this season, he yielded just eight home runs. That's a span of over 275 innings! Combine the strikeouts and lack of home runs with the fact that his future home is pitcher-friendly Citi Field, and you have one enticing fantasy prospect. He should fit in nicely behind Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard in the rotation. One final note: since entering the minors in 2012, Matz has not had an ERA above 2.62 at any level.
There are still plenty of other prospects biding their time in the minors. As the summer begins, let's take a peek at the rest of the prospect scene.
Max Kepler, OF, MIN