Scout's View: Brian Matusz
Brian Matusz will make his first major league start today when the Orioles face the Tigers. He's just the latest in a long line of Orioles rookie pitchers to get to the big leagues this year—he'll be the 10th rookie pitcher the Orioles have used this year.
Matusz throws four pitches, a low 90s fastball that will touch 94, a solid-average curveball that flashes signs of being above-average pitch, an average changeup and a below average slider. but according to a scout who has seen him this year, what makes Matusz special is his command. Even the best pitching prospects usually have control (the ability to throw strikes), but not command (the ability to hit spots within the strike zone). Matusz is one of the rare ones who is already hitting his spots consistently.
"He's got really good command; he has obvious control. He's going to be a guy who will really command it. There's probably not any guy in the minors with 60 or better command unless he's a veteran in Triple-A. But to me, Matusz is a guy who's really close to having that.
"For me, most pitchers in the minors have 30-35 present major league
command. Matusz to me, he has average command to a tick above average
right now. He's a 50 now who will probably be a 70 in the future."
Matusz has solid big league stuff, but as the scout sees it, the life on his fastball is not as important to his success as his ability to throw four different pitches at any point in the count.
"The stuff is pretty good. If you separate it out it's not—if you look pitch by pitch. But when you put it together it is. If he just used the fastball or the breaking ball all day, he'd be OK, but when you put it all together, it's something."