Jorge Mateo
25-Year-Old ShortstopSS
Covid-19
Injury Illness
Est. Return 8/13/2020
2020 Fantasy Outlook
The second-base job was there for the taking, but Mateo could not make the necessary offensive improvements at Triple-A for the A's to start his clock in a season where every win mattered. He can handle either middle-infield position, but was slightly below league-average (96 wRC+) in a repeat tour of the Pacific Coast League, and his 5.1 BB% and 25.6 K% portend significant struggles against MLB pitching. Mateo made significant improvements in some areas, but it's hard to say how much of that was the product of the juiced ball being introduced at Triple-A. His Hard% went up from 22.5% to 36.1% and his ISO jumped from .123 to .214. His batted-ball profile has been excellent in back-to-back seasons, it's just a matter of strike zone awareness and pitch recognition. Fantasy owners are rightfully dreaming on his 80-grade speed, but if 2020 is finally the year, his AVG/OBP figure to be pretty poor. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed a one-year, $563,500 contract with the Athletics in March of 2020. Traded to the Padres in June of 2020.
Added to taxi squad
SSSan Diego Padres
Illness
August 12, 2020
Mateo (COVID-19) was added to the Padres' taxi squad Wednesday, Kevin Acee of The San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
ANALYSIS
Mateo was expected to be part of the big-league roster when San Diego acquired him in late June, but he tested positive for COVID-19 early in summer camp and had been working his way back into shape at the team's alternate training site since late July. As part of the taxi squad, Mateo is working out with the Padres during their road visit to Los Angeles, but he cannot participate in games unless he is first moved to the active roster. It remains to be seen when -- or if -- San Diego plans to work Mateo into its infield mix.
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2020
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2019
2018
2017
2016
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.
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
Could move to active roster soon
SSSan Diego Padres
Illness
August 5, 2020
Mateo (illness) is impressing at the Padres' alternate training site and could be moved to the big-league club soon, AJ Cassavell of MLB.com reports.
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Clears protocols, remains on IL
SSSan Diego Padres
Illness
July 23, 2020
Mateo (illness) has cleared all health protocols but remains on the injured list, AJ Cassavell of MLB.com reports.
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Placed on IL
SSSan Diego Padres
Illness
July 23, 2020
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Doubtful for Opening Day
SSSan Diego Padres
Illness
July 18, 2020
Mateo (illness) is unlikely to be part of the Opening Day roster, AJ Cassavell of MLB.com reports.
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Tests positive for coronavirus
SSSan Diego Padres
Illness
July 8, 2020
Mateo has tested positive for COVID-19, Jeff Sanders of The San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
ANALYSIS
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