It was an incredible week of baseball for starting Alabama outfielder Kent Matthes…
Q&A with Kent Matthes
Matthes does it all at the plate and in the field. As a pitcher, some scouts love his raw ability. He has a very good fastball and changeup and could develop into a very good pitching prospect as a professional. On the other hand, it's his play in the field defensively and power projection as a hitter that has scouts excited about his potential as a position player. Matthes has plus bat speed and power. He hit .446 with five home runs as a junior in 2004 and earned a selection to the AFLAC All-American Classic as one of the nation's top rising high school prospects. As a shortstop for his high school team, Matthes has shown a plus arm and unbelievable range in the field. Despite playing shortstop, Matthes projects more as a third baseman due to his raw power and excellent arm. Kent Matthes sat down with Scout.com for a Q&A session. What is your outlook for your senior season? I think everyone's goal is to make it to the state championship, and hopefully I will be able to lead of team to that this season. I am expecting a pretty good year, we have a good team, pretty much the same guys we had for the past two years, and we have high hopes. You have received solid grades in class room. Do you find it tough balancing your baseball and academic schedule? It is pretty hard being gone for most of the weekends, and to balance your school work with the amount of time you practice and still maintain my high grades. It is possible to be successful on the diamond and in the class room, however hard to balance the two workloads out. What is your outlook for the upcoming MLB Draft? I think everyone hopes they get drafted high, however I guess it just comes down to how well I play, and how I do. I have been working hard trying to get stronger and faster, and hopefully that will help me out. Talk a little about your offense and defensive abilities? I am pretty versatile, I play third base and the outfield usually when I go to showcases and tournaments. I play short stop for my high school team and also pitch. I hit for power pretty much at the plate, and am pretty quick in time with a 6.8. Do you see yourself as a pitcher or as a position player down the road? I have not really pitched a lot, but a lot of scouts have told me I have a real strong and fresh arm, and since I really have not worked with a pitching coach or anything, I have lots of room for improvement. Overall however, I think a lot of scouts like my bat and don't want to give that up. What is your pitching repertoire? Right now I am just a fastball change-up pitcher, just because I never really had to learn another pitch. Do you have a favorite MLB player? I like Scott Rolen a lot. It is real hard to be a gold glove third baseman and hit as much as he does, so from that standpoint I admire him. You play short stop, third base and the outfield. Which position do you think you will eventually settle into? Most of the people like me as a third base man or playing the outfield because of my size, but I played short stop my whole life so I have a lot of experience in that position. Talk a little about your experiences traveling around the country and participating in a variety of showcases? It is a great experience and also pretty nerve-wracking in terms of my first showcase, but after that I just kind of gotten used to it. It is pretty-nerve wracking at times, just driving up to a practice and seeing 150 scouts there waiting. I have been to a lot of camps and showcases though so I am getting used to that right now.
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