Steven Matz
Steven Matz
27-Year-Old PitcherSP
New York Mets
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Matz exceeded the limited expectations set by his shaky health history, establishing career highs in starts and innings after offseason elbow surgery. The lefty kicked his K/9 back toward 9.0 and thrived in his home starts (3.59 ERA). Unfortunately, he endured another harmful HR/9 and posted a career-worst BB/9, leading the ERA estimators to paint a less rosy picture. The lefty dealt with a flexor pronator sprain in his left elbow in August but rebounded with a 2.51 ERA and 39 strikeouts in 32.1 September innings. In the end, he had a 10.4 K/9 in the second half. Matz worked to establish a repeatable delivery, and if the 26-year-old can build on his velocity gains and limit damage from right-handed batters (1.66 HR/9), his true breakthrough could still happen. You shouldn't have to pay for another 30 starts, which helps Matz's appeal. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a one-year, $2.63 million contract with the Mets in January of 2019, avoiding arbitration.
Reaches deal with Mets
PNew York Mets
January 11, 2019
Matz and the Mets agreed to a one-year, $2.625 million contract Friday, avoiding arbitration, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports.
Matz will more than quadruple his salary after earning just $577,000 last season. The raise comes after a season in which the lefty made a career-high 30 starts, finishing with a 3.97 ERA.
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Pitching Stats
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Minor League Game Log
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2016
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2016vs Left .262 328 58 26 76 15 1 4
Since 2016vs Right .254 1171 271 82 270 47 4 47
2018vs Left .236 128 24 12 26 3 1 2
2018vs Right .231 526 128 46 108 26 1 23
2017vs Left .295 70 9 8 18 5 0 0
2017vs Right .308 228 39 11 65 9 2 12
2016vs Left .269 130 25 6 32 7 0 2
2016vs Right .253 417 104 25 97 12 1 12
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2016
Even Split
ERA at Home
ERA on Road
ERA at Home
Since 2016Home 4.16 1.21 179.2 5 14 0 8.8 2.6 1.7
Since 2016Away 4.15 1.36 173.1 11 12 0 8.0 2.9 0.9
2018Home 3.59 1.05 85.1 1 6 0 8.8 2.7 1.8
2018Away 4.46 1.49 68.2 4 5 0 9.0 4.2 1.0
2017Home 10.38 2.03 21.2 0 4 0 9.1 2.1 2.5
2017Away 4.00 1.29 45.0 2 3 0 5.2 2.8 1.2
2016Home 2.97 1.16 72.2 4 4 0 8.7 2.6 1.2
2016Away 3.92 1.27 59.2 5 4 0 8.9 1.5 0.6
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Stat Review
How does Steven Matz compare to other starting pitchers?
This section compares his stats with all starting pitcher seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 120 innings). The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.
93.4 mph
Strand %
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
After having bone spurs removed from his elbow prior to the 2017 campaign, Matz opened the season on the disabled list with renewed elbow discomfort. He came off the DL at the beginning of June and pitched 13 games before undergoing season-ending surgery to correct a nerve issue, again in his elbow. While active, Matz changed his approach in an effort to preserve his health. During the 2016 season, Matz threw his slider 10.4 percent of the time. That figure fell to 4.3 percent in 2017 -- he ditched the offering completely for a while. The change harmed his performance and resulted in a 6.08 ERA and 1.53 WHIP, career-worsts for the 26-year-old lefty. The long ball was detrimental to Matz, who gave up home runs at an alarming rate of 1.63 HR/9. Matz is expected to be ready for spring training and should have a rotation spot, but he is about as high risk of an arm as there is in baseball.
Unfortunately, nothing about Matz's outlook changed in 2016. He was seen as a high-end No. 3 starter with durability concerns, and sure enough, he posted a 3.39 FIP and 129:31 K:BB in 132.1 innings but missed the final six weeks of the season with a shoulder injury. He did not need shoulder surgery, but he did have an offseason procedure to remove a bone spur from his elbow, further adding to the litany of arm issues on his resume at the age of 25. At his best, Matz pairs a mid-90s sinker that can miss bats with above-average secondaries in his curveball and changeup. His 51.1 percent groundball rate ranked 18th among starters with 130-plus innings, and for a sinkerballer, his 23.6 percent strikeout rate is pretty impressive. Matz will enter spring training as the Mets' No. 4 starter, and he will be appropriately discounted in drafts due to the durability concerns. If he ever stays healthy for a full season, his owners will enjoy the profits.
Already flush with an obscene amount of pitching, the Mets called up Matz in late June and he appeared ready to join the conversation as the next big thing along with his young rotation-mates. His first two starts were 13.2 IP of a 1.32 ERA and 0.88 WHIP with 14 strikeouts and five walks. A torn lat muscle halted his speedy ascent and cost him two months, but he was good in September and throughout the postseason with a 3.19 ERA across 36.2 IP. The skills aren’t really in question, even after just 50 IP (regular & postseason), but health was an issue coming up through the minors and seeing him hit the DL after just two MLB starts is worrisome. At the same time, this kind of profile can net big returns as long as the price isn’t through the roof. Betting on health when the skills are already in place is a worthy gamble and a better use of resources than hoping for skills growth in areas of weakness.
Tommy John surgery prevented Matz, a 2009 second-rounder, from debuting as a pro until 2012. He wouldn’t make his full season debut until a year later, and while the numbers were impressive, he was as a 22-year-old in A-ball. Matz took a big step forward in 2014, not only with another injury-free season during which he managed a career-high innings total (141), but he dominated yet again, splitting time between High-A and Double-A with a low-2.00s ERA in both. He works at 92-94 mph from the left side with solid command. His slow curve can be a plus pitch and should also miss bats regularly. The growth of his changeup will determine his future. When right, it looks great, but it is inconsistent. He has made up for the missed time and now sits on the doorstep of the big leagues, but the Mets may not have a need anytime soon. Consider Matz a worthwhile pick in leagues with minor league focus, otherwise wait until he is in the majors to act on him.
Matz, the Mets' top selection in the 2009 draft, had a slow recovery from May 2010 Tommy John surgery, finally pitching this year in the minors. He made the most of the year, tossing an impressive season for Low-A Savannah and posting a 2.62 ERA with 121 strikeouts over 106.1 innings. He has a fastball that tops out around 94 mph in addition to a good feel for his curveball and changeup. Matz was added to the 40-man roster in November to protect him from the Rule 5 draft, and he should begin 2014 at High-A St. Lucie.
More Fantasy News
Shuts down Marlins in no-decision
PNew York Mets
September 30, 2018
Matz didn't factor into the decision in Saturday's 1-0 extra-innings win over the Marlins, scattering three hits and a walk over six scoreless innings while striking out eight.
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Struggles in abbreviated start
PNew York Mets
September 23, 2018
Matz allowed three runs on five hits and three walks across three innings Sunday in a no-decision against the Nationals. He struck out four.
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Battles through five scoreless innings
PNew York Mets
September 18, 2018
Matz gave up two hits and five walks over five scoreless innings during Tuesday's 5-2 loss to the Phillies. He struck out four and did not factor in the decision.
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Allows two homers in no-decision
PNew York Mets
September 13, 2018
Matz pitched 6.1 innings Thursday, yielding three runs on three hits and two walks in a 4-3 win over Miami during Game 1 of a doubleheader. He struck out four and allowed two home runs in the no-decision.
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Strikes out eight in no-decision
PNew York Mets
September 8, 2018
Matz didn't factor into the decision in Friday's 4-3 loss to the Phillies, allowing two runs on three hits and two walks over five innings while striking out eight.
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