Cardinals Farm Report

Carlos Matias
Starting Pitcher
Dominican Summer League
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Height: 6’0″
Weight: 165 lbs
Signed by the St. Louis Cardinals on June 2, 2010
Just like every Saturday here on i70baseball, the Cardinals Farm Report spotlights one of the prized Cardinal minor leaguers. This week, it is Carlos Matias, the Cardinals top international prospect since, well, ever.

On June 2nd of this past summer, the St. Louis Cardinals agreed on a contract with Carlos Matias that is worth $1.5 million. Now, barely three months later, Matias finds himself shooting up the prospect lists.

Not many fans knew anything at all about the 17-year-old when he agreed on a deal with the Cards, but they soon realized how special this kid can be. This season, he pitched in 12 games (all starts) with the Cardinals Dominican Summer League team. In those games, Matias went 3-2, with a 0.76 ERA, 0.712 WHIP, and one complete game in 59 innings. He rocked a 4.3 H/9 rate, a 0.2 HR/9, 2.1 BB/9, 12 SO/9, and a 5.57 SO/BB rate. If those numbers don’t make your jaw drop, nothing will. For a pitcher that is barely 18, those numbers are remarkable.

Yet, while those stats are pretty amazing, it is his repertoire of pitches that makes every Cardinal fan drool. His high-90’s fastball is a true 80 on the 20-80 scouting scale. In fact, Baseball America said his fastball is “one of the best fastballs at any level of baseball.”

“He has outstanding control,” said Moises Rodriguez, the Cardinals director of international operations. “People tend to get excited when you see velocity in the high-90s, but he’s throwing upper-90s with excellent control.”

His stuff does not end there. Those that have seen Matias in person have called his mid-80’s changeup with sinking action above average, but his best secondary pitch is his 78-80 mph curve with late movement. Several months ago Ben Badler, who scouts international players for BA, indicated, “[Matias] might be the best pitcher any team signs this year on the international market.”

Many scouts consider Carlos to be the equivalent of a first-round draft pick, which is a huge reason why most believe the Cardinals Farm system is quickly being restored back to the state it was in before the trades in 2009.

Last year Matias reached an agreement with the Boston Red Sox for $160,000 but that was revoked after he failed an MLB investigation. Matias was suspended for a year after the incident, but that proved to be a blessing in disguised. He not only agreed to a contract worth more money, he also brought his fastball up about five mph during the layoff.

This was a concern in June when the Cardinals agreed to the deal, but according to B.J. Rains, “[Jeff] Luhnow said they completed a big hurdle and are very confident about getting Matias to the US in the near future.”

If you would like to watch video of Carlos Matias, head over to Rising Redbirds.

AAA-Memphis Redbirds
PLAYOFF record to date: 3-0 — This past week: 3-0, swept Oklahoma City in three games — Transactions: St. Louis Cardinals recalled INF Tyler Greene from Memphis Redbirds, RHP Adam Reifer assigned to Memphis Redbirds from Springfield Cardinals — Coming up: The Redbirds will play in the PCL Championship for the second straight year
AA-Springfield Cardinals
PLAYOFF record to date: 1-1 — This past week: 1-1, game one was rained-out and the next two were split — Transactions: Springfield Cardinals placed LHP Ryan Kulik on the 7-Day disabled list, RHP Kevin Thomas assigned to Springfield Cardinals from Palm Beach Cardinals, RHP Matthew Frevert assigned to Springfield Cardinals from Palm Beach Cardinals, RHP Adam Reifer assigned to Memphis Redbirds from Springfield Cardinals — Coming up: The Cardinals will continue their playoff series with NW Arkansas
A-Palm Beach
2010 record: 36-34 in the second half (75-65 overall), fourth place in the FSL South, 2 games behind Bradenton — This past week: 2-0, nice finish to a disappointing season — Transactions: RHP Matthew Frevert assigned to Springfield Cardinals from Palm Beach Cardinals, RHP Kevin Thomas assigned to Springfield Cardinals from Palm Beach Cardinals, Geoffrey Klein assigned to Batavia Muckdogs from Palm Beach Cardinals
Joe Mather, RF, Memphis
.375 AVG (3-for-8), 1.429 SLG, 1.804 OPS, 3 runs, 1 doubles, 2 home runs, 3 RBI
Much like Mark Hamilton last week, the average isn’t exactly off the charts, but his SLG and OPS are ridiculous. I honestly triple-checked. In the regular season, Joey Bombs hit .275/.348/.442 with 55 runs, 18 doubles, 4 triples, 10 home runs, and 46 RBI in 335 at bats.
Shelby Miller, SP, Quad Cities
7 innings pitched, 2 hits, 0 runs, 1 walks, 13 strikeouts
This was the most dominating start of the week, hands down. Not even close. And it was easily Miller’s most impressive start of his young career. In 24 starts in the regular season, Miller was 7-5 with a 3.62 ERA and 140 SO in 104 1/3 innings.

Justin Hulsey covers the Cardinals for i70baseball and his blogs, Cardinals Front Office and Rising Redbirds, that are also dedicated to Cardinals baseball and their minor league system.You may follow him on Twitter @JayHulsey by clicking here.

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