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Mike Matuella's pro debut on Friday for Spokane

Texas Rangers pitcher Mike Matuella, the team's 3rd round pick in 2015, makes his pro debut on Friday, June 17, for Spokane

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Mike Matuella, the third round draft pick by the Texas Rangers in the 2015 draft, will be making his professional debut on Friday, June 17, 2016, for the Spokane Indians.

Matuella, a righthander out of Duke University who was seen as a possible #1 overall pick in the 2015 draft before Tommy John surgery cut his season short, has been rehabbing his surgically repaired elbow since signing with the Rangers for a well-above-slot $2 million bonus last year.  Matuella throws four pitches, including a mid-90s fastball, and Baseball America described him pre-injury as having "elite" stuff, together with very good control.  There are questions about his ability to stay healthy, given that he has dealt with back problems as well as the elbow surgery, but if he stays healthy and shows he can handle a starter's workload, Matuella's ceiling is probably up there with Dillon Tate and Luis Ortiz as among the highest in the organization.

Spokane is in the short-season A Northwest League, and is generally populated with just-drafted college players, and previously drafted high school players who aren't ready for full season ball yet.  If Matuella excels in Spokane, he could possible get a look in Hickory later in the year.