Texas Rangers 2011 MLB Draft Analysis: First Round Pick Kevin Matthews

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Texas Rangers 2011 MLB Draft Analysis: First Round Pick Kevin Matthews
Picture courtesy of MLB Network

It's been awhile since the Rangers have had a late first round pick, but the success of the 2010 season has put them at No. 33. The pick comes from the Philadelphia Phillies, since they signed Type-A free agent Cliff Lee, and it was used to make Kevin Matthews a Texas Ranger.

Matthews, a left handed pitcher from Richmond Hill High School in Georgia, is a very surprising pick considering he wasn't a top 100 pick in most mock drafts. Most teams were probably weary of  picking him because he had already committed to the University of Virginia. But if the price is right, Matthews will certainly sign.

He's on the small end of the spectrum, being 5'10" and 165 pounds. He has a body of a smaller Derek Holland and has a CJ Wilson like delivery. He's got a nice clean delivery and has a 3/4 release. His fastball peaks at 91 and is usually consistently in the upper 80s range. Secondary pitches include a curveball that bottoms out at 70 and a changeup that likely needs work. 

His career stats include an earned run average close to 2.00 and has two complete game shutouts on his belt. Early in his high school career, he posted an impressive ERA below 1.00 and certainly has some promise if he can add velocity and control to his secondary pitches.

Overall, this is a very interesting and potentially odd pick. Joshua Bell was still on the board at the time of this pick, but he has verbally committed to Texas and has told recruiters to not draft him because his mind isn't changing. It will not shock me if Matthews chooses college over a shot at the majors.

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