Zach Matson

Born: October 24, 1995
Height: 6’3″
Weight: 225
Bats: Left
Throws: Left
Drafted: 24th Round, 721st Overall, 2016 (Orioles)
How Acquired: Rule 5 Draft, Minor League Phase (from Rockies)
College: Crowder College (MO)
Agent: N/A

The Orioles drafted Matson out of junior college.  He’s a lefty with good size who throws in the low-90s with a curve that gets a lot of spin.  He’s pitched solely as a reliever so far in his career and has generally had very high platoon splits.  He made slow progress through the Orioles’ system, spending all or parts of three seasons in short season ball.  Baltimore ultimately released Matson and he signed with Colorado.  The Pirates acquired him in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft.

R:  0-4-0, 2.97 ERA, 1.48 WHIP, 34.1 IP, 3.9 BB/9, 8.6 K/9

The Orioles sent Matson to the Gulf Coast League.  He showed good control there, but was fairly hittable.  The ERA is probably a little misleading because over half the runs against him were unearned.

A-:  0-0-0, 4.15 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 17.1 IP, 3.1 BB/9, 11.4 K/9
A:  0-1-0, 4.05 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 6.2 IP, 5.4 BB/9, 5.4 K/9

Matson went to the New York-Penn League, except for three late-season appearances in Low A.  He didn’t get impressive results, except for a high K rate in the NYPL.

A-:  2-1-2, 1.89 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 19.0 IP, 5.7 BB/9, 14.2 K/9
A+:  0-0-0, 1.42 ERA, 1.74 WHIP, 6.1 IP, 7.1 BB/9, 7.1 K/9

The Orioles sent Matson back to the NYPL, where he spent the season except for four mid-season games in High A.  He pitched much better in the NYPL, with a very high K rate.  Of course, by this time he was nearly 23 and threw fewer than 50 innings in 2017-18.

A:  4-0-4, 2.55 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 35.1 IP, 4.8 BB/9, 16.0 K/9
A+:  1-2-1, 5.01 ERA, 1.49 WHIP, 32.1 IP, 5.3 BB/9, 9.7 K/9

Matson split his season between Low A and High A.  He was outstanding at the former level, with an extremely high K rate.  He had a lot more trouble at the higher level, much of it due to poor control.


AA:  2-2-0, 5.73 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 33.0 IP, 4.1 BB/9, 15.5 K/9

Baltimore released Matson in spring training and the Rockies signed him just before the minor league season started.  He spent the year in AA.  He pitched much better than the ERA suggests.  His xFIP was 3.07, but a high BABIP of .355 and a very low strand rate of 59.6% did him in.  His K rate was again very high and he started getting the walks under control.

AA:  2-1-0, 1.84 ERA, 0.82 WHIP, 14.2 IP, 3.1 BB/9, 10.4 K/9
AAA:  1-1-0, 5.44 ERA, 1.52 WHIP, 41.1 IP, 4.6 BB/9, 6.3 K/9

Matson made 11 appearances for Altoona, then moved up to Indianapolis.  He made one start in AA and 11 in AAA.  These were the first starts of his career, but they were really “opener” situations, as he never went past two innings.  Matson pitched well for the Curve but not well at all for Indy.  He had a big platoon split.

Matson is eligible for minor league free agency now.  There isn’t much reason to expect the Pirates to try to bring him back.

2022: Minor league contract
Signing Bonus: $75,000
MiLB Debut: 2016
MLB Debut:
MiLB FA Eligible: 2022
MLB FA Eligible:
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man:
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
June 11, 2016: Drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 24th round, 721st overall pick; signed on June 21.
March 12, 2021: Released by the Baltimore Orioles.
April 27, 2021: Signed as a minor league free agent by the Colorado Rockies.
December 8, 2021: Selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates from the Colorado Rockies in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft.