St. Louis Cardinals MiLB Recap (4/5-4/7)

Feb 25, 2024; West Palm Beach, Florida, USA; St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Tink Hence (72)
Feb 25, 2024; West Palm Beach, Florida, USA; St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Tink Hence (72) / Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
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LHP Quinn Mathews (Single-A - Palm Beach Cardinals)

The Cardinals drafted Mathews in the 4th round last year out of Stanford. You might know him as the funky left-hand pitcher who threw a 156-pitch complete game in the 2023 NCAA Super Regionals. Mathews got the nod for Palm Beach on Opening Day, and I was really impressed by his stuff, particularly his fastballs. Mathews pitched 3 1/3 innings, allowed two runs, walked five, and struck out six.

Between his four-seam and two-seam fastballs, Mathews generated 11 whiffs on 17 swings (64.7% whiff rate). Mathews gets above-average ride on both of his fastballs from a low slot, and they have about a 5" difference in run. He averaged 94 mph on his heater, up from 91.5 mph last year for Stanford. We are working with a one-start sample, but a 2.5 mph gain is significant and noteworthy. Given the movement profiles and release height, if his heater can sit in the 94 mph range, it's going to be above average.

Mathews' secondary pitches are mediocre from a stuff perspective. His changeup was touted as his best pitch coming out of the draft, but it was the least-used pitch in his debut, as he only threw it 7% of the time. It's a very loopy changeup at 79 mph, which I don't love. Mathews' slider is probably his best secondary. It averages 83.8 mph with five inches of sweep and one inch of induced vertical break. Mathews also has a curveball that he sparingly uses. His secondary pitches certainly could use improvement, but he already has some of the best fastball shape in the organization. I expect Mathews to be a big riser in 2024 if the velocity can keep up.