Pittsburgh Pirates: Three LHPs to Watch in the Draft

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Jun 19, 2021; Omaha, Nebraska, USA; Stanford Cardinal pitcher Quinn Mathews (26) pitches in relief against the NC State Wolfpack at TD Ameritrade Park. Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

LHP Quinn Mathews

Quinn Mathews is a southpaw coming out of Stanford University. Mathews just finished up his best college season yet, being utilized in multiple different roles and excelling. He started nine games, locked down nine saves, and pitched a total of 99.1 innings through 27 total appearances.

Between these 99.1 innings, Mathews had a 3.08 ERA and 1.27 WHIP. Mathews was proficient at preventing the long ball, giving up just four throughout the season. He was also well above average at striking batters out, having a 26.3% strikeout rate. Although Mathews was very good at two of the three-true-outcomes, he struggled with preventing walks. He had an 11.6% walk rate, which isn’t great to see; his K-rate, although above average, wasn’t elite.

So what reason is there to look into Mathews? The 187th overall ranked draft prospect by MLB Pipeline, Mathews’s four-seam fastball only averages out in the low-90s. But he’s the kind of lefty with deception and decent off-speed stuff. His best pitch is his circle-change, which has “two-plane shape,” according to Pipeline. His slider is another decent offering, and he’ll also toss a low-to-mid-70s curveball. His arm slot can also throw off some batters, which is another plus and helps his stuff play up a tad. All four of his offerings have unique speeds, which allows him to throw off timing.

Mathews is a lanky 6’4, 192-pounds. Lefties with a good change-up will always be looked at a little more favorably, even if they don’t have overpowering stuff or high-end command. The Pirates might be able to convince him to sign slightly under slot. Although he’ll likely start out his pro career as a starter, his future is likely a bullpen role.

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