Toolsy. You hear year in and year out. Every organization has them. The players that can access the abilities that can’t be taught. If you were to match this description up with a player in the Royals organization, the clear choice would be former big bonus signing Seuly Matias.
Signed out of the Dominican Republic for $2.25 million in 2015, the Royals prized themselves one of the more talented hitters the 2015 international class had to offer. Only 16 years old at the time, the Royals were getting a player with five tool potential.
It wasn’t until last year that Matias made his stateside debut, logging 198 plate appearances with the AZL Royals. Though very inconsistent, Matias flashed his raw skills, putting up an intriguing state line for his first season. There was the good (very impressive .227 ISO, 11.1% BB%) and the bad (36.9% K%, 43.9% SwStr%). Nonetheless, Matias had a fine turnout for a 17 year old playing professional baseball for the first time.
The Royals decided Matias wasn’t quite ready for full-season ball yet, placing and keeping him in Burlington for 2017. It was a series of ups and downs there for Matias, as he started his season with a very rough stretch, had a mammoth July, and slumped in August to end the year.
- June: .148/.172/.148, 31.0% K%, 3.5% BB%
- July: .316/.380/.589, 23.2% K%, 8.3% BB%
- August: .200/.248/.340, 34.9% K%, 5.5% BB%
The inconsistency in Matias’ bat was highlighted in the course of the long minor league season. He showed an inability to consistently deal with offspeed pitches and make solid contact. In other cases, he flashed his elite power, showing the ability to drive the ball out of the ballpark to all fields.
What allows Matias to have one of the better power bats in the system is his lightning-fast bat speed. The combination of strength and reaction time allows for some nice exit velo.
2018 could be a big year for Matias. It will be really interesting to see how his bat plays out over the course of his first year season full-season ball, as he’s likely to end up in Lexington. If Matias can work more on finding the pitches he can handle, he might have the best bat in the Royals system.
Photo Credits: The Times-News