Today we are kicking off the offseason coverage and one of the staples of the offseason is the “Top Prospects” series. There will be 75-100 of these that run throughout the offseason. Early on they will focus on prospects that are going to fall outside of the Top 25 prospects – that list will come at the end of the month. Each article will focus on a player, review their season, then have a scouting report for that player. Things are getting started today with right-handed reliever Matt Pidich.

In 2018 the Reds drafted Matt Pidich in the 8th round out of the University of Pittsburgh, where he had worked mostly as a starter the previous two seasons. A 5th-year senior, he went to Billings after the draft. In 2019 he began the year with the Dayton Dragons, but his season didn’t begin immediately.The right-handed reliever didn’t get his season rolling until late April, making his debut on April 24th with 1.2 hitless innings against Lake County. The next time out he was making his home debut in Dayton and struggled as he allowed four hits and three runs in 0.2 innings. The month would end with 2.0 perfect innings that included three strikeouts.

The first half of May was an interesting mixed-bag of results for Matt Pidich. He pitched 7.1 innings and struck out 10 batters while giving up just six hits. But of those six hits, four were home runs. After that he went nearly a month without giving up an earned run. From May 15th through June 14th he threw 16.2 innings without allowing an earned run, gave up just eight hits, and struck out 17 batters. He had some hiccups over the next week, giving up four runs in 5.1 innings. But then Pidich went back to dominating the hitters he was tasked to face. Over the next five weeks he allowed two earned runs in 16.2 innings with 20 strikeouts.

In his final month of the year he just kept that training going. Manager Luis Bolivar called on him nine times from the start of August through the end of the year and he posted a 1.84 ERA in 14.2 innings with 18 more strikeouts. Pidich gave up just six hits in that span and walked three batters – good for a WHIP of 0.61 in the final month of the year.

For all 2019 Season Reviews and Scouting Reports – click here (these will come out during the week throughout the offseason).

Matt Pidich Scouting Report

Position: Right-handed pitcher | B/T: Right/Right

Height: 6′ 2″ | Weight: 220 lbs | Drafted: 8th round, 2018

Born: December 25, 1994

Fastball | He will throw the pitch in the low 90’s, usually working 90-93 MPH and he’s capable of throwing it for strikes. The pitch will top out at 95 MPH.

Change Up | An above-average offering, he used it to eat up hitters in 2019. It works in the 81-83 MPH range. There’s a good amount of vertical separation between it and the fastball, letting it drop off of the table so-to-speak.

Slider | A solid offering most of the time, every so often it’ll flash hard biting action that let’s it show above-average while working in the low 80’s.

Curveball | This doesn’t show up as often as the other offspeed stuff, but he’ll occasionally show a 12-6 curveball in the mid-to-upper 70’s.

The fastball plays up a little bit from it’s velocity thanks to a high spin rate giving it deception. The pitch has picked up some velocity since his time in college. That is probably due to the move from starter to reliever and not having to pace himself as much. The slider and change up should play enough as he continues to move up the ladder. The big question is whether the fastball will or not. The velocity is on the low-end for relievers, but with a high spin rate there could be something extra there that let’s it work.

Interesting Stat on Matt Pidich

Both left-handed hitters and right-handed hitters hit under .185 against him on the season. Lefties hit just .175 against him, while righties came in at .184.

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4 Responses

  1. James K

    A good choice to start the series. He wouldn’t make your top 25 list, but clearly a strong “honorable mention.”

    • Big Ed

      Age doesn’t really matter all that much with pitchers, but he will probably need to find another 3 mph to succeed like this at the higher levels. That is not impossible.

      With a useful fastball, a very good change, and at least something of a slider, I wonder if it’s plausible to turn him into a starter.

  2. Ry

    Hey Doug,
    I’m not sure if this would be too difficult. But I was trying to go back through the reds trades over the last 5 years, to see which ones stood out, it took a lot of sifting through the transactions page to even find many of the trades. We get really excited in the moment on trades but it usually takes a long time to see if it was actually a good or bad trade. It would be fun to have your knowledge and grades of the major trades over the past decade or so, especially with the more distant ones, having a longer track record, when you could give us a more accurate account of how things turned out. Just an idea. Thanks for all your hard work and this great site for us fans!!