Draft Prospect: Tyler Matzek, LHP, Capistrano Valley HS

Unlike Matthew Purke, Tyler Matzek is routinely regarded as a pitcher with an easy, repeatable delivery. Matzek is able to throw 90-94 mph with ease and has recently been as high as 98 mph according to several reports. He throws a curveball that has plus potential, but scouts from the Major League Scouting Bureau have a lesser opinion of its current quality than Baseball America does. Dr. Mike Marshall weighed in on Matzek in his Questions/Answers 2009 file. If you are at all familiar with Dr. Marshall's view of the 'traditional' pitching motion, you'll recognize that his comments border on praise. Dr. Marshall had the following to say: Mr. Matzek's version of the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion is not as injurious as many I have seen... I doubt that he will suffer a serious pitching injury. However, he will never be as good as he should have been. As with Purke, I was intrigued by the reports of an easy, repeatable delivery, and the comments from Dr. Marshall further piqued my interest. I dug around and found a video similar to the one I used for my Purke article. [Video.] [continued]
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Draft Prospect: Matthew Purke, LHP, Klein HS

Spring, TX - a suburb of Houston - has produced quite a number of early-round draft picks over the past several years. It looks like Klein's Matt Purke will join a list that includes former Klein players Josh Barfield, Chris George, and David Murphy, as well as Josh Beckett, Sam Demel, and Daryl Jones from Spring High School. Purke stands at 6-foot-3 and weighs 180 pounds. Scouts like his projectability and believe he could add velocity as he gets stronger. He already sits at 92-94 MPH, occasionally throwing a tick or two harder. His primary off-speed pitch is a slurve-type offering called a slider by Baseball America and a curve by the Major League Scouting Bureau. Whatever you call it, it's one of the best breaking balls in this year's high school draft class. Conflicting reports from the same two sources have his change up somewhere between "unknown" and "good." Purke is believed to have a strong commitment to Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, so signability has become a concern for some clubs. Rumors of his signing bonus demands have ranged from $2 million to $7 million, but the most recent rumors have him in the neighborhood of $3 million. Almost every report on Purke has mentioned something about questionable mechanics. Typically, high school deliveries are full of flaws and quirks, but rarely do these scouting reports go out of their way to mention them. Baseball America mentions Purke's slinging action, saying that it is neither violent nor smooth. I guess that would be... Average? Typical? Expected? Outside of this specific mentioning of a flaw, I could only find generic references to his mechanics. I wanted to have a look for myself. [continued]
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Scouting Ryan Berry, Rice University

Ryan Berry popped into the spotlight as a freshman at the Houston College Classic in 2007 against Texas A&M. He went on to have a spectacular freshman year: 11-3, 3.01 ERA, 122.2 IP, 121 H, 34 BB, 125 K. His sophomore year wasn't as awe-inspiring, but this season, he's certainly established himself as one of the best pitchers in college baseball. Currently dealing with some sort of arm trouble, Berry's junior season was shaping up to be be his best (and by a wide margin at that). Through 36.2 IP, Berry has allowed only 16 hits and 7 walks while striking out 31. Like his freshman year, Berry jumped back onto the radar at the Houston College Classic against Texas A&M. On February 28, 2009 at Minute Maid Park, I was there to see it.
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Scouting Stephen Strasburg, San Diego State University... in 40 degree weather

When Stephen Strasburg took the mound in the bottom of the first inning, it was a very breezy 45° outside. By the time he was done, it was a brutally windy 39°. The wind was blowing straight out to left at Lupton Field, and when TCU second baseman Ben Carruthers hit an 0-2 pitch way out to lead off for the Horned Frogs, it looked like it might be an interesting night. As it turned out, the Carruthers homerun was a blip. Strasburg responded by retiring the next 14 hitters in a row, 10 of them on strikes...
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Scouting Kendal Volz, Baylor University

Kendal Volz is a 6' 5", 225 lb right-handed pitcher with some monster stuff. Out of Smithson Valley HS (TX), Volz was among the top college juniors available for the 2009 MLB First-Year Player Draft. Baseball America pegged him as the #6 prospect on both the juniors list and the overall college list. Volz spent the summer working as Team USA's closer allowing only 1 unearned run in 14 innings and going 8-for-8 in save chances. He works off a low-to-mid 90s fastball, a hard slider, and an improving change up. At the Houston College Classic, Volz took the mound for Baylor University against UCLA.
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