The Astros added a lefty batter out of Ariza with their fourth pick in the 2017 amateur draft, second-baseman J.J. Matijevic.
Matijevic was drafted out of high school in the 22nd round in 2014, but chose to attend University of Arizona instead. After getting off to a shaky start, he rose as one of college’s bats over this past season, as he batted .383/.436/.633 with 10 homers.
Matijevic is a guy who’s physical tools don’t exactly jump off the page, but he has proven that he can flat-out produce. Over two seasons in the Cape Cod Summer League, he posted a .349/.381/.507 in 229 total at bats.
Matijevic doesn’t have speed, defense, or elite power, but he does have a great approach at the plate and natural instincts offensively. His production is a testament to his hitting skills, and if he improves his power at the plate he is a very interesting hitting prospect.
Matijevic isn’t a great defensive player and spent most of his time at 1st-base in college, but the Astros see him as a possible candidate to add some Minor-League depth to the second base position. Regardless, he is another player to monitor in the Astros’ deep farm system.
Luhnow was likely drawn to the young lefties polished approach at the plate, and with such a heavy analytic approach in the front-office, Matijevic’s impressive college and summer-league production certainly didn’t hurt.