Skip to content

Former top Rockies prospects find the road back

Apr 17, 2012, 11:00 PM EDT

Tyler Matzek

In 2010, Baseball America rated Rockies left-handers Tyler Matzek and Christian Friedrich the 23rd and 33rd best prospects in the game, respectively. They were eighth and 12th among pitchers. However, the stock of both had plummeted in the two years since, even though neither suffered a major injury. Neither came close to sniffing the top 100 this year. BA ranked them 12th and 14th, respectively, on a Rockies list that placed four players in the top 100.

Fortunately, two two are off to great starts in reviving their prospecthood. Matzek has a 1.72 ERA and a 19/8 K/BB ratio in 15 2/3 innings for high-A Modesto. Friedrich has a 2.33 ERA and an 18/3 K/BB ratio in 19 1/3 innings for Triple-A Colorado Springs.

In both cases it may be too early to get too excited. Still, the Rockies couldn’t have hoped for much more. Matzek had a 9.82 ERA and more walks (46) than strikeouts (37) in his 10 starts for Modesto last year before being demoted to low-A ball. He wasn’t any good there either, finishing with a 4.36 ERA and a 74/50 K/BB ratio in 64 innings. Friedrich ended up with ERAs of 5.05 and 5.00 in his two years at Double-A Tulsa. He went from averaging 12.0 K/9 IP in 2009 to 8.0 in 2010 and 7.0 last year.

Matzek still has a long way to go before he reaches the majors, but Friedrich might help this year if he keeps it up. Having made deals for Drew Pomeranz, Alex White and Tyler Chatwood over the last year, the Rockies may suddenly find themselves with an excess of young pitching to make available in future trade talks.

  1. mjay424 - Apr 18, 2012 at 4:39 AM

    Agreed Matthew, the Rockies have to be excited about the return to prominence, at least within the system, of Christian Friedrich and Tyler Matzek.

    Both have flashed attractive productivity in the past but have also endured their share of struggles. For Friedrich, he’s had injuries and appeared to have plateaued with two difficult seasons at Double-A. For Matzek, his inability to control his stuff seemed like a career killer.

    What has become obvious is these two pitchers have such strong resolves and unwavering confidence in themselves. They also are worker bees, never stopping to pity themselves.

    Both of their stocks are up. For now, their starts, if small sample sizes, are certainly encouraging.

    Colorado Rockies Prospects Report (google)

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Featured video

Giants, Royals took unique paths to WS
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. Y. Molina (2661)
  2. T. Ishikawa (2626)
  3. M. Bumgarner (2497)
  4. J. Shields (2180)
  5. L. Cain (2126)