- Full name Joseph Paul Mather
- Born 07/23/1982 in Sandpoint, ID
- Profile Ht.: 6'4" / Wt.: 215 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School Mountain Pointe
- Debut 05/30/2008
Drafted in the 3rd round (104th overall) by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2001.
View Draft ReportJoe Mather wasn't a name to watch coming into the year, but he ended up challenging Corey Myers' state record of 22 home runs. He slumped late and finished with 17. Tall and lanky at 6-foot-4 and 190 pounds, he doesn't profile as a shortstop in pro ball and likely will end up on an infield corner. He has a below-average arm.
Organization Prospect Rankings
Mather reached Class A in 2004, and for three seasons and more than 1,000 at-bats he stayed at that level, wondering each spring if he was making progress or about to be released. Cardinals officials always recognized the potential in his swing, and in 2007 he blossomed. He hit 31 home runs as he climbed to Double-A and then Triple-A. Mather used to gobble ice cream and other high-calorie delights to pack the weight on his lithe frame. By last year, he had filled out by 15 pounds and his game matured. Scouts saw the same raw ability in Mather, but they wondered if he ever would add the necessary polish. He put it together when he settled into a comfortable stance and approach at the plate, which led to better strikezone awareness and more consistent power to all fields. He now has the best power in the system this side of Colby Rasmus, and he doesn't strike out excessively for a slugger. Mather is no burner but has stolen 23 bases without being caught once over the last three seasons. He may be better at first base, but he runs well enough and has enough athleticism and arm strength to play a corner outfield position. The versatility that once kept him playing when he struggled with the bat now opens an alternate avenue to the majors, and he's now just a phone call away. Added to the 40-man roster in November, he'll probably open 2008 back in Triple-A.
Minor League Top Prospects
Mather has the potential to be the kind of development story every organization dreams about. He was born in Idaho but played high school ball in Arizona, and the Cardinals made him a third-round pick in 2001 after he hit 17 home runs as a high school senior. Mather always flashed raw ability but never showed it in games, and he came into the season as a career .249 hitter with 55 homers in 1,686 at-bats--none above Class A. He showed signs of coming around last year with 16 homers in high Class A, and he hit 18 longballs for Springfield this year before moving up to Triple-A and hitting 13 more. Mather often pulled off the ball and collapsed his back side in previous seasons, but he showed a consistent stance and approach this season. He's also versatile in the field, and he played both right field and first base this season. He should have enough power for either position. "To me he's a first baseman who can play in the outfield," Clark said. "But he has big league pop to all fields. The ball sounds different coming off his bat."
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Power Prospect in the Texas League in 2007