Jorge Mateo
23-Year-Old ShortstopSS
Oakland Athletics AAA
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Mateo’s first season at Triple-A was a disaster, but he is extremely close to the majors and has 80-grade speed, so it would be a mistake to write him off. Underperformance was like a plague on Nashville’s hitters last season, and there are rumors that the Triple-A field staff did some fruitless tinkering with the swings and approaches of some top prospects, Mateo included. There have been makeup concerns with the speedster for a while, and he has struggled with pitch recognition. That said, he hit .296/.357/.521 with a 22.7 K% in 60 games at Double-A in 2017, so it is not like he has been a lost cause in the upper levels. Mateo does not turn 24 until late June, and if something clicks for him at the plate, he could make his MLB debut this summer. His defensive home will likely be second base or center field, and he may start out in a utility role. He could steal 40 bases over a full season even if he is only getting on base at a .300 clip. Read Past Outlooks
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Off to sizzling start in Vegas
SSOakland Athletics  AAA
April 16, 2019
Mateo is slashing .375/.412/.563 across his first 51 plate appearances at Triple-A Las Vegas.
It's a small sample, but dynasty owners have to be thrilled at the promising prospect's red-hot start. The impressive line is a well-balanced one as well, as it's comprised of five extra-base hits (two doubles, two triples, one home run), eight RBI, three walks, four stolen bases and 11 runs. Mateo had a rougher go of it in his first exposure to Triple-A arms last season, slashing .230/.280/.353 across 510 plate appearances at Nashville. A 27.3 percent strikeout rate helped lead to those middling numbers, and he's provided some early reason for optimism by whittling that figure to 19.6 percent thus far.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
It was an eventful year for Mateo. He completely underwhelmed in a repeat trip to High-A, received a promotion to Double-A anyway, raked, got dealt to the A's, and kept raking. From a fantasy perspective, Mateo is the best prospect Oakland received in the Sonny Gray trade. He has legitimate 80-grade speed -- a tool that has allowed Billy Hamilton and Dee Gordon to not only be relevant, but coveted in roto leagues, despite posting isolated power figures that look more like fahrenheit readings. Unlike Hamilton and Gordon, Mateo is not a zero in the power department, and could pull 8-to-12 balls out per year at peak. His batting average will likely fluctuate quite a bit based on BABIP, but he could be a .250 or .260 hitter who occasionally flirts with hitting .280. Since the trade, he is back to being developed as a shortstop. He could be ready for a callup in the second half, but the A's have an annoying amount of controllable, albeit uninspiring middle infielders, so it's hard to say when Mateo will be handed an everyday gig.
Mateo had a rocky 2016, including a suspension midseason for conduct detrimental to the team. He started the season at High-A Tampa and apparently was dissatisfied with the lack of a promotion to Double-A Trenton. On the field, Mateo's average was down, his strikeouts were up, and he stole less than half as many bases as he did in 2015. He hit just .254 with 36 steals in 2016, as compared to a .278 average and 82 steals in 2015. In addition, with the acquisition of Gleyber Torres from the Cubs, the Yankees have been trying out new positions for the 21-year-old, including second base and center field. Despite the bumps in the road, Mateo's speed is elite, and he also posted career bests in home runs and RBI in 2016. He should finally get his wish and begin the 2017 campaign at Double-A, though where Mateo will play in the field remains to be seen.
A highly coveted asset at the 2015 trade deadline, Mateo was one of four Yankees prospects GM Brian Cashman deemed untouchable. At just 20 years old and never playing above the High-A level, the shortstop has already made a name for himself in the organization, both with his bat and his legs. The 20-year-old swiped 82 bags last season between Low-A and High-A while being caught just 17 times, and he posted an impressive .321/.374/.452 line once being promoted. Didi Gregorius currently poses a potential roadblock to Mateo at short at the big league level, but the youngster doesn't have any minor league experience at any other position in the field. Mateo is still at least a year away from getting his first taste of the big leagues, if not more, but should continue to move up through the organizational ranks in 2016 and could be worth a look in dynasty formats.
More Fantasy News
Heads down to Triple-A
SSOakland Athletics  AAA
March 3, 2019
Mateo was optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas on Sunday, Jane Lee of reports.
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Scuffling at Triple-A level
SSOakland Athletics  AAA
June 15, 2018
Mateo is slashing just .196/.237/.297 with 15 extra-base hits (nine doubles, six triples) over 225 plate appearances across 58 games at Triple-A Nashville.
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Enjoys best game of season
SSOakland Athletics  AAA
May 4, 2018
Mateo collected four hits -- including his first two home runs of the season -- before Triple-A Nashville's game against Colorado Springs on Thursday was suspended in the eighth inning, Kelsie Heneghan of reports.
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Optioned to Triple-A Nashville
SSOakland Athletics  AAA
March 13, 2018
Mateo was optioned to Triple-A Nashville on Tuesday, Jane Lee of reports.
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Whiffs twice in debut
SSOakland Athletics  AAA
March 7, 2018
Mateo (knee) went 0-for-2 with two strikeouts in Tuesday's 5-3 Cactus League win over the Rangers.
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