Michael Matuella, the Texas Rangers' third round draft pick last year out of Duke University, made his pro debut last night for the Spokane Indians of the Northwest League. Matuella, thought by many to be a candidate for the #1 pick before he was felled by Tommy John surgery, allowed 1 hit and 0 runs in 3 innings of work, walking 2, hitting a batter and striking out a batter.
A Spokane media outlet has a write-up of the game, and notes that Matuella was throwing mid-90s. Matuella was reportedly throwing as hard as 97 mph last night, which is great to see. Matuella's ceiling is up there with Dillon Tate and Luis Ortiz as among the highest in the system, although between the TJS and a history of back problems, there are durability concerns...its somewhat reminiscent of Tanner Scheppers, another guy who the Rangers selected after he slipped in the draft due to similar issues.
Also pitching for Spokane last night was Tyler Ferguson, the Rangers' 6th round pick out of Vanderbilt last year who fell in the draft because of major control problems, and who also struggled to throw strikes in the AZL last year. Ferguson fanned three in two innings of work yesterday while not walking anyone, which is a positive sign.