The Name Is Gomez De Segura

His name takes up two lines on the stat sheet. That's because he insists on using the fullness of it all. Matthew Gomez De Segura. Not "Gomez" Not "Segura". It's Gomez De Segura, if you please. And he's not, as you first might suspect, from a country south of the border. No, he's actually from West Jordan, Utah.

I suppose it's easy to ignore somebody from West Jordan, Utah. Anyway, that's what baseball scouts did. So, he went to college- Briar Cliff. Sounds like an elite school for girls located around Philadelphia. No, it's a tidy liitle school located in Iowa. Another hard place for scouts to get acquainted with. Quite understanably, Matt went undrafted.

So, nobody paid attention to him there, either. That's is, as far as baseball is concerned. But all the while Matt was growing, getting stronger- and throwing the baseball harder and harder.

In the summer of 2004, he hooked up with a semi-pro team. Pretty good one, too. And Matt was used out of the bullpen quite often. The team wound up playing in the National Baseball Congress tournament where all the top semi-pro teams from around the country compete. And the scouts do show up there.

One was the Dodgers' Mitch Webster and he was impressed by this kid coming out in relief. Threw hard if a bit on the wild side. Had the ideal pitcher's frame- 6-5, 230. You gotta take a chance on a kid like that. So, Mitch signed him for the Dodgers

This is Matt's second year as a pro. In his inital season, he got to go back to Utah to pitch for Ogden where he was a singularly unimpressive 1-2, 6.57 When you throw 24 innings in which you walk 24 men, the results usually aren't too ovewrwhelming.

He's currently with Columbus where his record is equally underwhelming- 1-3, 6.11. That indicates some bad outings again. What it doesn't disclose is the improvement he's made in every facet of his occupation. He has a smoother delivery, his secondary pitches are developing, his control is better. And he throws 96 mph.

The shoddy record is the result of a couple of bad outings but the better ones are more and more frequent. In 28 innings, he's struck out 30 men. Oh, he's walked 19. still too many, of course, but getting better.

You still can't fit that name onto the prospect's list but people are noticing. And that's more than the bypass he received before. He's out there on the fringe, working to get in. And he just might do it. Then they won't have any trouble getting that name straight.

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