The Coors Effect

August 14, 2009 7:13 AM

Memo to the Rockies: Sign Tyler Matzek

It's a little over three days until the draft pick signing deadline, and Tyler Matzek's status is still in the air.

Tyler Matzek could be pitching in the Rockies farm system.  Or he could go to the University of Oregon.  The Rockies should be thankful that Matzek fell into their laps, that nine teams drafting ahead of them (not counting the Nationals, who were clearly going to pick Stephen Strasburg) decided not to go with the best high school lefthander available in the draft, and should show that gratefulness by giving Matzek a solid signing bonus to woo him away from his college commitment.  Not lowball him because they think he's too much of a risk.

Yes, there is a lot of risk involved.  There always is with high school pitchers.  Of course, when a high school pitcher does pan out, look at the rewards.  Look at what's happened to the Dodgers, who took high school lefty Clayton Kershaw in the first round in '06.  Kershaw currently has a 2.73 ERA.  In the majors.  At 21.  Or look at Madison Bumgarner, who the Giants took with their first round pick in '07.  Bumgarner is 7-1 with a 2.11 ERA in AA, and he just turned 20 a couple of weeks ago.

Look at Cole Hamels, who's developed into one of the best pitchers in the majors when he's on.  This is what Tyler Matzek can be.  Yes, there's a lot of risk involved, but you only have to see the potential rewards to see that taking that risk could be worth it.

This is why, no matter the asking price, you must sign Tyler Matzek.  Consider that priorities #1, 2, and 3 over the next three days.  Yes, Christian Friedrich and Rex Brothers are fine prospects, but Matzek can be much more.  Whatever you do, you must sign him.

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