Prospect Profile: Matt Roney

Roney was one of three Rule 5 pitchers that the Tigers carried in 2004, in general manager Dave Dombrowski's attempt to add young arms to the organization. In 2004, the organization hoped Roney would prove he was ready for the big leagues and would be up to stay, but it didn't turn out that well, as Roney was inconsistent. Roney will attempt to turn around his career path in 2005.

Matt Roney
Position: Right handed Pitcher Height: 6-3 Weight: 235
Born: 1/10/1980 Bats: RightThrows: Right

Background
Roney was originally a 1st round draft choice of the Colorado Rockies out of Edmond North High School in 1998. After a solid, but unspectacular minor league career through 2002, the Tigers selected Matt in the December Rule 5 Draft. During their abysmal 2003 campaign, Roney managed to remain on Detroit's roster, fulfilling his Rule 5 requirements. Roney continued to post modest numbers in 2004 with both Erie and Toledo, and will likely help anchor the Toledo rotation again in 2005. With a career minor league ERA of 4.62, and nearly a strikeout per inning pitched, Roney has demonstrated the ability to be a decent starting pitcher. The 2005 season will be an important one in terms of taking his game to the next level.

Scouting Report
Roney has a large frame and sound mechanics, enabling to pump his fastball into the mid-90s consistently. While in the low minors, Roney's fastball was a dominant pitch, and as a result, he fell in love with it. As he's moved up, he has struggled, giving up more homeruns and striking out less batters. His fastball comes in on a flat plane, with little movement, making it relatively easy to hit. Aside from a powerful fastball, Roney has both a mediocre curve and slider, neither of which has ever provided much support to his overall game. Since coming to Detroit, Matt has begun to play around with a splitter that could potentially provide him the offspeed pitch he so desperately needs. Roney is a good athlete and takes to coaching well, thus aiding his case for making it back to the Major Leagues. Ultimately, Roney may be destined for the bullpen, and if his splitter continues to develop, he could become a dominant late-inning specialist.

Performance

Year

Team

W-L

ERA

G

GS

SV

SO

BB

IP

WHIP

2004

Erie

9-9

4.93

22

22

0

89

33

133.1

1.47

2004

Toledo

2-1

3.86

5

5

0

18

10

30.1

1.32


Health Record
Despite the odds against high school pitchers with regards to injuries, Roney has remained quite healthy at this stage in his career. With only minor injuries along the way, Roney is quickly approaching the point in his career where injury risk drops dramatically.

The Future
As previously mentioned, Roney will likely spend the 2005 season anchoring the Toledo rotation. If Matt can improve his control, and resurrect his diminishing strikeout rates, he has a chance to get a few starts in Detroit later this summer. Roney will have to become more consistent to remain in the rotation, and is more likely to see time in Detroit as a reliever. If Matt doesn't take the next step in his development as a starter this season, the Tigers may begin to experiment with him in the closers role as the year moves on. Either way, Roney must harness his fastball and improve either his breaking pitches or his splitter in order to be an effective pitcher. At 25 years old, Roney should be closing in on his prime, and the Tigers will be looking for him to give an indication of what his peak performance may be.


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