Q&A with 29th Round Pick Scott Matyas

We sat down with Yankees 29th round pick Scott Matyas for a Draft Day Q&A session. Find out what the right-handed pitcher from the University of Minnesota says about his stuff, who he would compare himself to at the big league level, what he'll bring to the Yankees organization, and more.

PinstripesPlus.com: What was going through your head after being selected by the Yankees.

Scott Matyas: Well it was definitely an honor to be drafted, not by the Yankees, but by any team. When you're talking New York Yankees though with all of their history there and everyone who has played there, it is definitely a great honor. It's always nice to hear your name called on draft day at some point and to be drafted by the Yankees is something special to go along with their tradition and everything that comes along with it. It was certainly something special.

PinstripesPlus.com: Were you surprised it was the Yankees that selected you? Had you and the Yankees talked much before the draft?

Matyas: I was surprised it was the Yankees because I hadn't talked to them previously before the draft and I didn't know that they even had interest in me so it was definitely a little surprising. I read on their website that there have only been a couple players in Minnesota Baseball history that have been selected by the Yankees, so being one of the select few in that aspect is cool.

PinstripesPlus.com: Do you have any idea what the Yankees' organization is like?

Matyas: I have no idea. I grew up in Milwaulkee and was a big Brewers fan and never really followed the Yankees much. The last person that got drafted by the Yankees from our school was quite a while ago so I don't know have any indication of what it's going to be like.

PinstripesPlus.com: Where do you think you will fit into the system?

Matyas: I don't know yet. I still have two years left of school. I talked to one of the scouts after I got drafted and he told me that is was mostly going to be a draft-and-follow, so I'm going out to the Cape Cod League this summer for them to watch me and see what I have to offer. After that, we'll see if I go back to school or not. It's probably going to be a long process throughout the summer but I'm excited and looking forward to it.

PinstripesPlus.com: Can you tell me about your stuff? What type of pitches do you throw and at what speeds?

Matyas: I was a closer this year for the team. I throw a fastball—mostly four-seam. Then it's a curveball, a slider, and a changeup as well. My fastball usually sits around 89-92 MPH, and tops out around 94 MPH. My curveball is just more of a show pitch and not really as much of an out-pitch for me right now. My slider is usually what I throw to get strikeouts, and my changeup, I usually only throw against leftys, so I don't use it much at all. I usually rely on my fastball because I can locate it. At the college level, if you can have a plus fastball and use both sides of the plate it's going to get you a long way, so that's what I stuck to all year.

PinstripesPlus.com: What do you feel like you need to work on?

Matyas: To move on to the next level, you have to develop all your other pitches too so that's what I have to work on if I sign this year and get to the minor league level, or if I go back to school it's definitely something I have to work on to get better for the next level.

PinstripesPlus.com: You saved a school record 15 games this season. Have you always been this comfortable closing and would you prefer the bullpen over starting?

Matyas: Last year we kind of struggled, so the bullpen got moody but I pitched as a reliever last year as well. I had arm surgery in high school and I was starter all through high school then when I got to college, they immediately put in the reliever's role because they liked me out of the pen better. I throw harder and I hadn't started a game in a while, so I didn't know how my velocity would be throughout the course of a game. I love it. I love playing the reliever role and I don't think I would want to go back to starting because that's kind of what they've groomed me for.

PinstripesPlus.com: What experience did you gain from redshirting your first year with the Golphers?

Matyas: Like I said, I had that surgery going into my senior year of high school, so my redshirt year was my first year coming back and pitching competitively. It got me adjusted to the college game and used to pitching with different squads. That year we had a really good team as well, so it was just getting used to facing college level hitters. A lot of those guys went on to play pro ball, so facing those guys every day, getting ready for everyday competition, getting my arm ready and getting other pitches developed, as well as weight lifting and keeping my velocity up, helped a lot. At the time it wasn't the most fun thing to do to sit and watch the games, but now looking back it is something that has really helped my career and helped me to get to where I am today.

PinstripesPlus.com: Who would you compare your game to at the Major League level so readers can get a feel of what you're like on the mound?

Matyas: I've thought about that a little bit and you obviously can't compare me to anyone at that caliber, but if I had to say someone I'd say Joe Nathan because he is from Minnesota as well with the Twins. I kind of mock my game or map my game around his in the way he approaches the game and attacks hitters and uses his fastball to get ahead then comes back with his soft-speed late. He's got a good slider as his out-pitch and I've been trying to focus on getting my slider to be my out-pitch as well. If you look at our delivery it is similar and we have a similar build, and I know we're not perfectly like each other and have many differences, but if I had to map myself around one guy it would be him.

PinstripesPlus.com: Is he your favorite player or just the one that you most resemble?

Matyas: He's just very similar to me. Growing up in Milwaukee, I'd have to say Ryan Braun of the Brewers is my favorite player.

PinstripesPlus.com: What would you say is your best moment in your entire baseball career?

Matyas: Most recently this past year there were quite a few things that happened with the saves record and as a team winning 21 games and going down to LSU and playing in front of 10,000 fans in the regional — that was pretty special. They were both things that I will never forget. Making it to the LSU regional and turning the program around after a bad year was special.

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Pinstripes Plus Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: What was going through your head after being selected by the Yankees.
\r\n
\r\nScott Matyas: Well it was definitely an honor to be drafted, not by the Yankees, but by any team. When you're talking New York Yankees though with all of their history there and everyone who has played there, it is definitely a great honor. It's always nice to hear your name called on draft day at some point and to be drafted by the Yankees is something special to go along with their tradition and everything that comes along with it. It was certainly something special.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: Were you surprised it was the Yankees that selected you? Had you and the Yankees talked much before the draft?
\r\n
\r\nMatyas: I was surprised it was the Yankees because I hadn't talked to them previously before the draft and I didn't know that they even had interest in me so it was definitely a little surprising. I read on their website that there have only been a couple players in Minnesota Baseball history that have been selected by the Yankees, so being one of the select few in that aspect is cool.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: Do you have any idea what the Yankees' organization is like?
\r\n
\r\nMatyas: I have no idea. I grew up in Milwaulkee and was a big Brewers fan and never really followed the Yankees much. The last person that got drafted by the Yankees from our school was quite a while ago so I don't know have any indication of what it's going to be like.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: Where do you think you will fit into the system?
\r\n
\r\nMatyas: I don't know yet. I still have two years left of school. I talked to one of the scouts after I got drafted and he told me that is was mostly going to be a draft-and-follow, so I'm going out to the Cape Cod League this summer for them to watch me and see what I have to offer. After that, we'll see if I go back to school or not. It's probably going to be a long process throughout the summer but I'm excited and looking forward to it.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: Can you tell me about your stuff? What type of pitches do you throw and at what speeds?
\r\n
\r\nMatyas: I was a closer this year for the team. I throw a fastball—mostly four-seam. Then it's a curveball, a slider, and a changeup as well. My fastball usually sits around 89-92 MPH, and tops out around 94 MPH. My curveball is just more of a show pitch and not really as much of an out-pitch for me right now. My slider is usually what I throw to get strikeouts, and my changeup, I usually only throw against leftys, so I don't use it much at all. I usually rely on my fastball because I can locate it. At the college level, if you can have a plus fastball and use both sides of the plate it's going to get you a long way, so that's what I stuck to all year.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: What do you feel like you need to work on?
\r\n
\r\nMatyas: To move on to the next level, you have to develop all your other pitches too so that's what I have to work on if I sign this year and get to the minor league level, or if I go back to school it's definitely something I have to work on to get better for the next level.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: You saved a school record 15 games this season. Have you always been this comfortable closing and would you prefer the bullpen over starting?
\r\n
\r\nMatyas: Last year we kind of struggled, so the bullpen got moody but I pitched as a reliever last year as well. I had arm surgery in high school and I was starter all through high school then when I got to college, they immediately put in the reliever's role because they liked me out of the pen better. I throw harder and I hadn't started a game in a while, so I didn't know how my velocity would be throughout the course of a game. I love it. I love playing the reliever role and I don't think I would want to go back to starting because that's kind of what they've groomed me for.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: What experience did you gain from redshirting your first year with the Golphers?
\r\n
\r\nMatyas: Like I said, I had that surgery going into my senior year of high school, so my redshirt year was my first year coming back and pitching competitively. It got me adjusted to the college game and used to pitching with different squads. That year we had a really good team as well, so it was just getting used to facing college level hitters. A lot of those guys went on to play pro ball, so facing those guys every day, getting ready for everyday competition, getting my arm ready and getting other pitches developed, as well as weight lifting and keeping my velocity up, helped a lot. At the time it wasn't the most fun thing to do to sit and watch the games, but now looking back it is something that has really helped my career and helped me to get to where I am today.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: Who would you compare your game to at the Major League level so readers can get a feel of what you're like on the mound?
\r\n
\r\nMatyas: I've thought about that a little bit and you obviously can't compare me to anyone at that caliber, but if I had to say someone I'd say Joe Nathan because he is from Minnesota as well with the Twins. I kind of mock my game or map my game around his in the way he approaches the game and attacks hitters and uses his fastball to get ahead then comes back with his soft-speed late. He's got a good slider as his out-pitch and I've been trying to focus on getting my slider to be my out-pitch as well. If you look at our delivery it is similar and we have a similar build, and I know we're not perfectly like each other and have many differences, but if I had to map myself around one guy it would be him.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: Is he your favorite player or just the one that you most resemble?
\r\n
\r\nMatyas: He's just very similar to me. Growing up in Milwaukee, I'd have to say Ryan Braun of the Brewers is my favorite player.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: What would you say is your best moment in your entire baseball career?
\r\n
\r\nMatyas: Most recently this past year there were quite a few things that happened with the saves record and as a team winning 21 games and going down to LSU and playing in front of 10,000 fans in the regional — that was pretty special. They were both things that I will never forget. Making it to the LSU regional and turning the program around after a bad year was special.
\r\n
\r\n

\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n\r\n
\r\n

Are you a monthly or 3-month subscriber to PinstripesPlus.com? Why not get two months free AND get 4 issues of our PinstripesPlus Magazine included by becoming an annual subscriber? Upgrade today to get the most out of your subscription.

\r\n

\r\n

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