Mets Scouting Report: RHP Matt Durkin

The big right-hander was selected by the New York Mets in the second round of the 2004 MLB Draft out of San Jose State University. Now two full seasons removed from elbow surgery, he is still working to rediscover his game while maturing his pitches. Here is a scouting report on Savannah starter Matt Durkin.

Vital Statistics:

Name: Matt Durkin
DOB: February 22, 1983
Height: 6'5"
Weight: 235
Throws: Right
Bats: Right

2007 brought about new opportunities for the three-year veteran. After undergoing significant surgery on a nerve in his throwing elbow following his rookie season in the GCL, Durkin threw just 22.1 innings in a rehab shortened campaign in 2006. He was nearly all the way back when he reported to camp last spring. He hoped that the season would be a healthy one where he could demonstrate to the organization that he was still capable of retaining the promise that surrounded him when he arrived out of school.

He put together a very compelling first half, posting a 3-3 record with a 2.90 ERA while racking up 71.1 innings pitched and permitting the opposition to hit just .216. He seemed to be coasting with success through his first 13 appearances [10 starts].

"At the start of the season, I wanted to get a full, healthy season under my belt and prove to coaches and the organization that I was healthy and that I can throw again. Early on, I definitely feel I did that. I know May and June were my better months, but I really slipped in July," he said.

The changes were fairly quick and drastic for Durkin, but warning signs were there even through his early spring achievements. Though hitters did not get to him often in the season's opening months, he still had a very elevated walk total. His, and the coaches, biggest challenges were mixing up his repertoire and learning to use his secondary pitches in new patterns.

"The coaches helped to turn me into a more complete pitcher than just throwing a fastball and sneak a curveball by hitters. I had a lot more confidence in my breaking balls this year, so the coaches just kept me working on both the curveball and my slider," he said.

During July and August, his command regressed further. Not only did the walks continue at a high rate, but now he was giving up runs and home runs. It may have been due fatigued related to the increased workload over the season, but more likely he was just too inconsistent with the breaking balls and found too much of the plate.

"I started giving up the hits because I was challenging hitters and pounding the strike zone with all my pitches, but I do feel that my control suffered and because my focus would slip or I tried to be too perfect," he explained.

Despite the turbulent summer, Durkin did find positives. His move to the bullpen down the stretch of the season allowed him to really air out his arm and see where it was at after a full season of pitching. He ended year knowing his elbow was back to full health while gaining some velocity on his fastball, which was nearly lost during his rehabilitation.

While spending the entire season in Savannah was rather disappointing for him, he has set himself in a good position to return to spring training this March and show observers exactly what he can offer now that the shroud of his injury has finally lifted.

"I thought I'd move up at some point during the year, but that just wasn't in the plans, and I initially felt a little empty by not moving up. But when I reflected on the year, I did feel I accomplished things and showed I can still play. My teammates kept me motivated and I'm ready to open eyes and show new things [during Spring Training]," he explained.

Year

Team

W-L

IP

Hits

BB

K

ERA

2007

Savannah

4-8

114.2

107

56

71

4.00

2006

Hagerstown

0-0

3.0

2

3

4

0.00

2006

Kingsport

0-0

4.2

1

3

4

0.00

2006

GCL

0-1

14.2

20

12

13

8.59

2005

Hagerstown

4-5

76.1

54

54

79

3.77

2005

GCL

0-0

3.0

2

0

4

0.00



Repertoire: Fastball, Curveball, Changeup, Slider

Fastball: With his elbow just about all the way back to pre-surgery strength, Durkin was ability to add more velocity. He was up this year from the high-80s heat he was throwing in 2006 and topped off at 92 MPH this year—though he can dial it up to 93 when he is coming off adequate rest. He needs to become more consistent with his location to get batters to commit to his fastball more often.

Other Pitches: Durkin uses his big, breaking curveball that sits in the low-70s as his finishing pitch. He prefers to throw it low in the zone or in the dirt when ahead in the count 0-2, but is learning to spot it more on the corners. His changeup, which he throws around 77 MPH, is effective against lefties and he is able to get fairly good movement on the pitch, but his arm angle decreases how deceptive it is as he works to throw the pitch on a straighter plain. His slider is still more of a get-over pitch in the high-70s that requires the most work out of any in his repertoire.

Pitching: Durkin continues to struggle with his control as he works to build up his velocity and develop more consistency with his secondary pitches. His large frame allows him to get more drive behind his pitches and minimize contact when he is on top of his game.

Projection: Durkin needs to build upon the growth he showed at the start of 2007 when he was limiting damage by working ahead in the counts and cutting down on the walks. If he can prove more effective within the strike zone, which should put him back on track to be a starter at the big level. However, given the setbacks he has endured due to injury, he best projection at this time is as a fifth starter.

ETA: 2010. Spending the entire season in Savannah was a virtual speed bump on his path to the big leagues. He should begin 2008 with St. Lucie where he will most likely remain for the entire season unless noticeable progress is made across all aspects of his game. Therefore, from now moving forward, he will most likely work an additional two-plus years in the minors before making to the bigs as a long reliever or fifth starter sometime during 2010.


Amazin Clubhouse Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nVital Statistics:
\r\n
\r\nName: Matt Durkin
\r\nDOB: February 22, 1983
\r\nHeight: 6'5\"
\r\nWeight: 235
\r\nThrows: Right
\r\nBats: Right
\r\n
\r\n2007 brought about new opportunities for the three-year veteran. After undergoing significant surgery on a nerve in his throwing elbow following his rookie season in the GCL, Durkin threw just 22.1 innings in a rehab shortened campaign in 2006. He was nearly all the way back when he reported to camp last spring. He hoped that the season would be a healthy one where he could demonstrate to the organization that he was still capable of retaining the promise that surrounded him when he arrived out of school.
\r\n
\r\nHe put together a very compelling first half, posting a 3-3 record with a 2.90 ERA while racking up 71.1 innings pitched and permitting the opposition to hit just .216. He seemed to be coasting with success through his first 13 appearances [10 starts].
\r\n
\r\n\"At the start of the season, I wanted to get a full, healthy season under my belt and prove to coaches and the organization that I was healthy and that I can throw again. Early on, I definitely feel I did that. I know May and June were my better months, but I really slipped in July,\" he said.
\r\n
\r\nThe changes were fairly quick and drastic for Durkin, but warning signs were there even through his early spring achievements. Though hitters did not get to him often in the season's opening months, he still had a very elevated walk total. His, and the coaches, biggest challenges were mixing up his repertoire and learning to use his secondary pitches in new patterns.
\r\n
\r\n\"The coaches helped to turn me into a more complete pitcher than just throwing a fastball and sneak a curveball by hitters. I had a lot more confidence in my breaking balls this year, so the coaches just kept me working on both the curveball and my slider,\" he said.
\r\n
\r\nDuring July and August, his command regressed further. Not only did the walks continue at a high rate, but now he was giving up runs and home runs. It may have been due fatigued related to the increased workload over the season, but more likely he was just too inconsistent with the breaking balls and found too much of the plate.
\r\n
\r\n\"I started giving up the hits because I was challenging hitters and pounding the strike zone with all my pitches, but I do feel that my control suffered and because my focus would slip or I tried to be too perfect,\" he explained.
\r\n
\r\nDespite the turbulent summer, Durkin did find positives. His move to the bullpen down the stretch of the season allowed him to really air out his arm and see where it was at after a full season of pitching. He ended year knowing his elbow was back to full health while gaining some velocity on his fastball, which was nearly lost during his rehabilitation.
\r\n
\r\nWhile spending the entire season in Savannah was rather disappointing for him, he has set himself in a good position to return to spring training this March and show observers exactly what he can offer now that the shroud of his injury has finally lifted.
\r\n
\r\n\"I thought I'd move up at some point during the year, but that just wasn't in the plans, and I initially felt a little empty by not moving up. But when I reflected on the year, I did feel I accomplished things and showed I can still play. My teammates kept me motivated and I'm ready to open eyes and show new things [during Spring Training],\" he explained.
\r\n
\r\n\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n
\r\n

\r\n Year

\r\n

\r\n Team

\r\n

\r\n W-L

\r\n

\r\n IP

\r\n

\r\n Hits

\r\n

\r\n BB

\r\n

K

\r\n

\r\n ERA

\r\n

\r\n 2007

\r\n

\r\n Savannah

\r\n

\r\n 4-8

\r\n

\r\n 114.2

\r\n

\r\n 107

\r\n

\r\n 56

\r\n

\r\n 71

\r\n

\r\n 4.00

\r\n

\r\n 2006

\r\n

\r\n Hagerstown

\r\n

\r\n 0-0

\r\n

\r\n 3.0

\r\n

\r\n 2

\r\n

\r\n 3

\r\n

\r\n 4

\r\n

\r\n 0.00

\r\n

\r\n 2006

\r\n

\r\n Kingsport

\r\n

\r\n 0-0

\r\n

\r\n 4.2

\r\n

\r\n 1

\r\n

\r\n 3

\r\n

\r\n 4

\r\n

\r\n 0.00

\r\n

\r\n 2006

\r\n

\r\n GCL

\r\n

\r\n 0-1

\r\n

\r\n 14.2

\r\n

\r\n 20

\r\n

\r\n 12

\r\n

\r\n 13

\r\n

\r\n 8.59

\r\n

\r\n 2005

\r\n

\r\n Hagerstown

\r\n

\r\n 4-5

\r\n

\r\n 76.1

\r\n

\r\n 54

\r\n

\r\n 54

\r\n

\r\n 79

\r\n

\r\n 3.77

\r\n

\r\n 2005

\r\n

\r\n GCL

\r\n

\r\n 0-0

\r\n

\r\n 3.0

\r\n

\r\n 2

\r\n

\r\n 0

\r\n

\r\n 4

\r\n

\r\n 0.00


\r\n
\r\nRepertoire: Fastball, Curveball, Changeup, Slider
\r\n
\r\nFastball: With his elbow just about all the way back to pre-surgery strength, Durkin was ability to add more velocity. He was up this year from the high-80s heat he was throwing in 2006 and topped off at 92 MPH this year—though he can dial it up to 93 when he is coming off adequate rest. He needs to become more consistent with his location to get batters to commit to his fastball more often.
\r\n
\r\nOther Pitches: Durkin uses his big, breaking curveball that sits in the low-70s as his finishing pitch. He prefers to throw it low in the zone or in the dirt when ahead in the count 0-2, but is learning to spot it more on the corners. His changeup, which he throws around 77 MPH, is effective against lefties and he is able to get fairly good movement on the pitch, but his arm angle decreases how deceptive it is as he works to throw the pitch on a straighter plain. His slider is still more of a get-over pitch in the high-70s that requires the most work out of any in his repertoire.
\r\n
\r\nPitching: Durkin continues to struggle with his control as he works to build up his velocity and develop more consistency with his secondary pitches. His large frame allows him to get more drive behind his pitches and minimize contact when he is on top of his game.
\r\n
\r\nProjection: Durkin needs to build upon the growth he showed at the start of 2007 when he was limiting damage by working ahead in the counts and cutting down on the walks. If he can prove more effective within the strike zone, which should put him back on track to be a starter at the big level. However, given the setbacks he has endured due to injury, he best projection at this time is as a fifth starter.
\r\n
\r\nETA: 2010. Spending the entire season in Savannah was a virtual speed bump on his path to the big leagues. He should begin 2008 with St. Lucie where he will most likely remain for the entire season unless noticeable progress is made across all aspects of his game. Therefore, from now moving forward, he will most likely work an additional two-plus years in the minors before making to the bigs as a long reliever or fifth starter sometime during 2010.
\r\n
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