Assessing Mateo's first start

This guy is prototypical bullpen.

That was my take. I think he COULD probably start in the majors, and would probably project as a #3, but his tools seem perfect for the bullpen. Like Marmol, he had a pronounced drop in velocity as the game went on, although this could simply be a matter of conditioning.

What makes him a good bullpen arm?

  1. good control and decent movement on the fastball, and I was impressed on how well he kept the ball down.
  2. A plus slider that works well as a putaway pitch.
  3. A decent third pitch (straight change)...perfect for keeping in his pocket on short relief to use in a jam.
Add that to the fact that with his adrenaline flowing in short relief he would probably hit around 93-95 on the gun and possible touch 96, making him a valuable bullpen addition if starting doesn't work out. His stuff and control compares well with Bob Howry.

All that aside, he WAS plucked out of double A, and still needs some development in terms of stuff and conditioning. He may work out as a starter, and obviously, starters are more valuable. If not, he projects very well as a reliever.

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