Alex Mateo was solid last season with the Jupiter Hammerheads.
Throughout the 2018/2019 offseason, Marlin Maniac will devote one article each for every player who appeared in the Miami Marlins system for the 2018 season. Every. Single. Player. This is Part 233 of 286.
Mateo was born on January 18th, 1994, and later attended Monsignor Edward Pace HS in Miami. He then matriculated in succession to three separate colleges, Broward Jr College, Point Park, in the NAIA, and Nova Southeastern, a Division 2 school. Over his four years, he went 28-9 with a 3.18 ERA and 277 K’s in 299 innings. The Miami Marlins chose him in the 22nd round of the 2016 MLB Amateur Draft. Follow Mateo on Twitter @AMateo_18.
Picked with the 653rd overall selection, Mateo could eventually be the third member of the “653 Club” to progress to the majors. He would join Bob Beall (1970, Philadelphia Phillies, -0.4 WAR) and Drew Hayes (2009, Seattle Mariners, -0.4 WAR).
After coming to terms with the Marlins, Mateo was assigned to the Florida-based rookie-level GCL Marlins, in the Gulf Coast League. After striking out five in three innings over three appearances, he was moved up to the Batavia Muckdogs, in the short-season-A New York-Penn League. He played 10 games at the new, higher level, striking out 24 in 23 innings and putting up a 3.91 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP. He did good enough to merit a second in-season promotion, to the single-A Greensboro Grasshoppers in late-August.
2017 would see Mateo split his year between Batavia and Greensboro. He went 4-7 with a 4.64 ERA and 108 K’s in 96 1/3 innings. His 10.02 combined K/9 ranked as the best mark of his career thus far.
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At the start of the 2018 campaign, Mateo was reassigned to the Jupiter Hammerheads in the high-A Florida State League. He ended up ranking second on the team with 35 appearances, and led all relievers with 70 2/3 innings pitched. Mateo only allowed 59 hits and 25 walks for a solid 1.20 WHIP (slightly below the team-average mark of 1.24). He also struck out 72 for a K/9 rate of 9.17 as opponents managed a .224/.304/.365 slashline. At home, he kept opponents to a .613 OPS, as opposed to a mark of .726 on the road.
On May 21st, Mateo earned his second win of the season when he struck out five over 2 1/3 scoreless innings in a 4-1 victory against the Daytona Tortugas. In a 6-5 win against the Dunedin Blue Jays on July 27th, Mateo whiffed four over 2 1/3 hitless innings.
Mateo pitched effectively last season at the high-A level with Jupiter. Although he’s still rostered with the Hammerheads, he should open the 2019 season with the double-A Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp in the Southern League.
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