Top 10 Third-Year Starting Pitchers

Brian Matusz
Text: Eric Mack, SI.com
Photo: Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

#9

Brian Matusz

24, Baltimore Orioles

Matusz was rookie eligible last season, but he is entering his third season with the Orioles, having started exactly 40 games to date. So, he is as much an overlooked sophomore as he is a starting pitcher in his third season, if that makes any sense. Matusz's full season numbers -- 10-12, 4.30 ERA and 143 strikeouts in 175 2/3 innings -- are not eye opening, but it truly takes a lot for a pitcher to be over .500 for his career (15-14) with a lowly team like the Orioles. Matusz is more pitcher than thrower and should be able to make his strong second half stand up over the long haul this season. He went 7-3 with a 3.63 ERA and .228 BAA after the All-Star break, beating the likes of the AL champion Rangers, White Sox, Red Sox, Yankees and Rays in winning six of his last eight starts (6-0) down the stretch. That bodes well for a huge breakthrough as a top 80 starting pitcher available in the late rounds of a standard draft.


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