Simplified Approach Pays Dividends For Mets’ Matt Rudick

Matt Rudick’s bat-to-ball skills have never been in question. But this season the 24-year-old outfielder has blossomed by driving the ball, adding a dimension to his game that has gotten him noticed within the organization.

Drafted in the 13th round in 2021, Rudick hit .316/.459/.551 with seven home runs through 41 games for Double-A Binghamton. The San Diego State product has decreased his groundball rate to tap into his power.

“His contact skills have been amazing all his life, really,” Mets farm director Kevin Howard said. “I think what we needed him to do is get his best swing off more often and get stronger, and I think he’s got a lot of those things.

“And on top of the contact ability, now he’s got the ability to drive the ball a little bit more.”

To get there, the lefthanded-swinging Rudick modified his approach. Last season he saw most of his action for High-A Brooklyn and produced at a .236/.361/.349 clip in 90 games overall.

“He had a lot of movement with his hands and his bat when he came in,” Howard said. “We didn’t want to take it away from him, because that was kind of his rhythm, so all we could do was kind of simplify it. Once he did that he’s kind of taken off”

Rudick, who stands 5-foot-6, had excelled at all three outfield positions. Though he could possibly handle center field because of his speed, the organization has moved him around.

Howard said Rudick compares favorably with former major leaguer Jon Jay as a lefty-hitting outfielder with a well-balanced game.

“I think (Rudick) can be a starting outfielder and have quality at-bats and do everything well,” Howard said. “He’s a winning player. A guy who is going to be an upgrade on defense, an upgrade on having quality at-bats and really be a good piece on a team to help win games.”

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