The Colorado Rockies made Tyler Matzek the No.11 overall pick in the 2009 MLB Amateur Player Draft. Out of high school, Matzek flashed electric stuff including a 95-mph fastball. The big lefty out of Mission Viejo, California had all the potential.
In his first season in pro ball, Matzek shined for Low-A Asheville. That season he started 18 games, pitching to a tune of 5-1 with a very respectable 2.92 ERA. The following season, after a promotion to High-A Modesto, Matzek’s production fell off as he started just ten games, finishing 0-3, 9.82 ERA.
After moving between Asheville and Modesto in 2011-12, Matzek worked his way up and by 2014 was in Triple-A Colorado Springs. He posted a 4.05 ERA in 12 games before getting the Major League call-up.
Making his debut on June 11th 2014, Matzek showcased what the Rockies saw in him. Against Atlanta, Matzek pitched 7 innings, giving up just 2 runs with 7 strikeouts and 0 walks. It was exactly what the Rockies had hoped for, and he had delivered.
The 2014 season was a solid debut season for Matzek. There was promise for him and excitement as he was just twenty-four years old. 2015 began positively for Matzek as, through his first two starts, he posted a 1.80 ERA.
The same season, Matzek started to struggle with command. While he did not pitch poorly on any account, he just could not find the strike zone. Matzek stayed in the Rockies system until 2016. The Rockies outrighted him off the 40-man roster and released him soon thereafter.
After a brief stint in the White Sox organization, Tyler Matzek is now making a fresh attempt in his drive back to the majors. Thanks to the California Winter League, he is getting that chance. The Seattle Mariners announced they have signed Matzek to a minor-league contract with an invitation to Spring Training.
Director of Scouting and Player Development of the San Rafael Pacifics, Dan DiPace, has been working with Matzek in helping him return to form. Speaking on his goals, in an interview with California Winter Leagues Mike Rankin and Mike Marcantonini, Matzek talked about that return. “The ultimate goal is to have 10 years in the big league and be a hall of famer. I mean, that’s everybody’s ultimate goal. If we’re not going for that, then what are we doing out here?”
Needless to say, it will be a fun prospect watching Tyler Matzek over the course of Spring Training for the Mariners. Hopefully, he can find his way back to a major league mound.