Bryan Mata might one day prove to be the jewel of a scouting mission the Boston Red Sox embarked on a few years ago.
MLB.com’s William Boor, Jim Callis and Mike Rosenbaum named the pitcher the Red Sox’s top international prospect in a column published Tuesday.
Mata, 21, has yet to rise above Double-A Portland, but the MLB writers reckon his stuff is good enough to take him all the way to Boston before too long.
“Set to sign with the Brewers out of Venezuela in July 2015 before a groin injury wiped out that agreement, Mata turned pro with the Red Sox for $25,000 six months later,” the MLB.com trio wrote. “He reached Double-A at age 20 in 2019 and has the upside to pitch in the front half of a rotation with an electric 93-97 mph sinker, a power slider and a fading changeup.”
Baseball America in November ranked Mata the No. 4 prospect in Boston’s system. Dominican Republic native Gilberto Jimenez ranked seventh on that list. Besides Mata, Jimenez is the only other foreign-born player to appear in Boston’s top 10, and he hasn’t reached Double-A yet.