Former Top Prospect Back From Injury

Frank Mata was a top-25 prospect for the Twins before an elbow injury sidelined him for the entire 2005 season. Well he is back, and will replace Adam Hawes on the Beloit roster, after Hawes went down with an elbow injury of his own this past week.

Former Twins' top-25 prospect Frank Mata will make his long awaited return to the pitching mound this week, as he returns from a right elbow injury that sidelined him for the entire 2005 season. Mata, who has a 10-5 career record in the Minor Leagues, replaces Adam Hawes on the Beloit Snappers' roster, as he was placed on the seven-day disabled list with a right elbow injury of his own. Mata will join the club in Quad Cities, where the Snappers are finishing up an eight-day road swing.

Mata burst onto the scene in 2004, when some scouts were comparing him to Bartolo Colon. A big kid with a blazing fastball, Mata appeared in 26 games as a member of the Elizabethton Twins in 2004, and ended the year with 13 saves. In 31 innings of work, Mata struck out 39 batters, and held the opposition to a .193 batting average.

During the beginning of his Minor League career, Mata was considered almost unhittable, as he baffled low level batters with his array of pitches. He was throwing a fastball in the mid-90s, and had what many considered to be developing into a plus-slider. The injury could not have come at a worse time for Mata, who was ready for his first taste of full-season baseball in 2005.

For Hawes, the injury does not seem to be something major. He is coming off one of his best seasons as a pro, and in 2005, actually led the Appalachian League in earned run average. In 14 games for the Twins in 2005, Hawes made nine starts, and finished with a 1.53 earned run average. He also struck out 68 batters in 59 innings of work, while holding the opposition to a .183 batting average.

This past season, he was rated as the 28th best prospect in the Twins' organization by Baseball America, and was off to a good start for Beloit this season. In three starts, Hawes has posted a 1-1 record, and his earned run average is currently at 3.71.


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