Mets Draft Steve Matz and Robbie Shields

With their first pick, at #72 overall in the second round, the Mets drafted LHP Steve Matz out of Ward Melville HS in East Setauket, NY.  With their third round pick, at #103 overall, the Mets plucked SS Robbie Shields (pictured) from Florida Southern.  Both seem like reasonable selections.

You can watch MLB.com scouting video of Matz here.  He’s throwing 88-90 in the clips.  He’ll likely begin his professional career in the GCL.

At his Surfing the Mets Blog, Adam Rubin talked to Mets scouting director Rudy Terrasas who said of Matz:

“…We like the arm. We think he has a chance to be a solid pitcher for us.
He’s got three pitches: fastball, curveball, changeup. Just like any
typical high school player, he just needs some time and experience on
the mound. He pitches anywhere from 89 to 93, but he settles in around
90 mph. But, again, there’s projection left with this kid.”

At Baseball Prospectus’s draft roundtable, Kevin Goldstein wrote of Matz:

…a solid lefty. Not a sexy, exciting pick, but he belonged around here.

Baseball America wrote of Matz:

The consensus top prep pitching prospect in the Northeast, Matz offers plenty of projection as well as good present stuff. For most of the spring, Matz sat in the 89-91 mph range, but he routinely ran his fastball up to 93-94, and the pitch has some glove-side life. Scouts particularly like the way he attacks hitters inside with his heater. He also shows a solid-average changeup with good deception that sometimes rates as plus. He began throwing a slider midway through the season, but most scouts prefer his 73-75 mph three-quarters curveball, which flashes average to plus but more often rates as a below-average offering at this stage. Matz has a big, projectable frame at 6-foot-3, 185 pounds, but there are some questions about his durability because he had trouble staying healthy for a full season until this year. He also needs to work on his delivery, as he tends to cut himself off and has a head jerk. (This is visible in the MLB.com scouting video from the front angle – TH) There is some risk with Matz, but he has enough upside that some team is very likely to take him in the top three rounds and buy him out of a commitment to Coastal Carolina.

Newsday has a game account from a start of Matz’s in April against his good friend and fellow pitching prospect Marcus Stroman here.

Shields hit .345/.448/.518 with 19 doubles, five homers and 33 walks against 32 strikeouts in 57 games for the Florida Southern Mocs. He had an eye-opening start to the Cape Cod League season last year, but hurt his wrist with what was diagnosed as a hairline fracture with some ligament damage.  Remember too that wrist injuries tend to sap a batter’s power.

Terrasas also talked to Rubin about Shields.

“We’re really excited about this kid as well,” Terrasas said. “He’s a baseball player. We’re going to put him in at shortstop. We feel like he can stay at shortstop. He’s a guy who has a good feel and instincts for the baseball game. He’s really a good baseball player. There’s no real standout tool, but this guy is solid and steady.”

Baseball America wrote the following about Shields:

Shields wasn’t highly recruited despite a strong senior season in high school, when he hit 18 homers for Pasco High. He wound up at Division II Florida Southern and was having a solid college career, hitting .348 as a sophomore with nine home runs. Still, he was not a well-known commodity before he went to the Cape Cod League. … Shields has had plenty of scrutiny this season as the top talent in the competitive Sunshine State Conference and has had some draftitis, as he had just five homers after hitting 17 in his first two seasons. Shields showed early-round tools with strength in his hands, average speed and middle-infield actions, but he’s more likely an offensive second baseman or perhaps a third baseman in the David Bell mode rather than a true shortstop. His modest spring performance likely drops him into the third-round range, but he still has a shot to challenge the second-round record set by Moccasins alumni Lance Niekro (1999) and Brett Tomko (1995).

And third round is exactly where the Mets picked Shields.  Nice job BA.
Shields’ college coach, Jim Tyrell said of his shortstop:

“He can do everything well.  He doesn’t have any major flaws in his game. All the tools show
up. There’s not a lot of guys who, across the board, have all the
tools. Some are deficient in some areas.”

As a complete aside, the FSC Mocs have an awesome logo with a nasty looking moccasin snake, but their hats are beyond dull.