Bryan Mata sat at 96-98 mph with his fastball during his two innings in a simulated game at the alternate training site in Pawtucket on Saturday, per PawSox broadcaster Jim Cain.
Mata, a 6-foot-3, 240-pound right-hander who turned 21 in May, pitched in a sim game for the first time since suffering a hamstring cramp Aug. 30.
Baseball America ranks him Boston’s No. 1 pitching prospect and fourth best prospect overall behind Triston Casas, Bobby Dalbec and Jeter Downs.
Watch Mata’s sim game right below.
He throws a four-seamer, two-seamer, slider, curveball and changeup. In 2019, Mata committed to his two-seam fastball while also working hard on developing his slider into his best secondary pitch.
“Just working off that pitch (two-seamer), I feel like right now that’s my best pitch and it just helps me get ahead of hitters,” Mata said during a Zoom call earlier this week. “So that’s something I’m trying to build off of. And I feel like it will be something I can use moving forward.”
He added about his slider, “That’s a pitch I feel really confident in; that I can throw at any point during the count.”
Mata still must improve his command before he is ready to pitch in the big leagues and he knows it.
“What I’m really working on is trying to be more consistent throwing strikes,” Mata said. “That’s really something I feel as though would help me obviously in the long run and it’s something I know I need to improve on. Right now what I’m focused on is just trying to throw more strikes and just trying to better my control.”
Yorke makes debut at alternate site
Nick Yorke — who the Red Sox selected in the first round of the 2020 MLB Draft and added to the 60-player pool earlier this week — singled off Mata to the opposite field. See his single at the 5 minute, 40-second mark of the video above.
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