Pittsburgh Pirates: Three Left-Handed College Pitchers to Watch This Spring
Quinn Mathews was drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays during last year’s draft. The Stanford University lefty was selected in the 19th round, but the two sides were unable to come to terms. Now, Mathews will enter the 2023 draft as a senior and would be a good pitcher for the Pirates to target.
Last season, Mathews worked to a 3.08 ERA and 11.27 WHIP across 99.1 innings of work. Mathews worked in both high-leverage and as a starter. He closed out nine games, but he also started nine. Two areas Mathews excelled in were striking batters out and keeping the ball in the park. The lefty had a 26.3% strikeout rate and 0.36 HR/9 rate. However, where he struggled was with walks, with an 11.6% K-rate.
Mathews isn’t a hard thrower. He currently only sits in the low-90s but tops out at 95. According to Prospects Live, some believe he can improve his fastball and velocity. Mathews stands at 6’2”, 192 pounds. He also throws a curveball that was averaging out in the low-70s in his first start of the college season, as well as a changeup and slider (both sat in the low-80s).
Mathews has a lanky and slender frame, and although he is a college senior, there’s still some projection. His arm slot is nearly at an overhead angle. There are a decent amount of moving parts in his motion as well. Where Mathews struggles is consistently locating in the strike zone. He can get a bit wild at times, as indicated by his walk rate. Mathews has an outlook of a back-of-the-rotation starter, but he could see his stuff play up in the bullpen. Maybe he could sit closer to 92-94 in the bullpen instead.
The southpaw is a senior, so the Pittsburgh Pirates could probably land him on an under-slot deal if they were to draft him. Depending on who the Pirates draft, Mathews could be a decent under-slot draft pick. They could get both a solid prospect and be able to sign their other draft prospects.