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One Man’s Trash: Mas Mas Matos

I was born and raised in Los Angeles, so Los Doyers has always been my band. As a result, that group met in The Bay, there hey it repeats painfully in my place, it was a stronghold of the unbelievers. Now that I’m older and, hopefully, more emotionally mature, fighting for laundry is no longer my only life on this planet. I have appreciated the competition and success they have had as an organization. With dreaming becoming such an important part of my life now, player focus has taken precedence. As a Korean-American, I will focus on any Korean player, including when Jung Hoo Lee signed with the San Francisco Giants. So when Lee hurt himself when he crashed into the outside wall, I yelled, “NOOOO!!!” When it was announced that Lee was going to have season-ending surgery, I yelled, “NO MAS! NO MAS!” Lee’s injuries are allowed Luis Matos opportunity. And he’s been yelling so hard that I’m singing, “MAS! MAS! MAS!” Yes, I’m a math whore.

Since Lee went down, Matos has made 26 plate appearances, hitting .385/.385/.731 with two home runs, 16 RBI and a .346 ISO!!! Small sample size, but is there anything here? Let’s dig in and find out.

Matos is 22 years old, 5-foot-11, 160 pounds and bats from the right side. He signed with the Giants as an international free agent in 2018.

Throughout his minor league career, Matos has consistently been able to hit the ball, as his strikeout rate has never exceeded 16%. The rate of departure, however, was as low as 5% and as high as 12%. The average bet has been across the map as well. What was most interesting was the power. The ISO was close to .200 at first, but then dipped into the low-.130s. Last year in Triple-A, the ISO was a solid .273 in 152 plate appearances. In 143 plate appearances at Triple-A this season, the ISO dropped to .137.

When I first looked at Matos, I dismissed the potential because of the small frame, but looking at the numbers and history, he has always had pop. It just didn’t match. That took my mind from Jose Altuve, who is 5-foot-6 and only 166 pounds. For him, he had a little power at first, but then the ISO slowly increased to where he is now, in the .200 range.

The change for Altuve was when he started pulling the ball higher. Early in his career, the draw rate was in the low 30s to low 40s. In 2015, that number increased to 45% and finally over 50%. Now it’s over 60%!

Matos is shooting 51.7% of the ball this season. In 2023, the attrition rate was 42.1%.

While the average exit velocity is only 86.4 mph, the launch angle is 16.1 degrees this season. Last season, it was only 6.3 degrees. The barrel rate is 6.9% compared to 2% and the line drive rate is 6.7% higher.

If you look at the plate alignment numbers, you are very aggressive, as all swing levels are very high. While the pass rush rate is 10% higher than last year, the strikeout rate is down 1.8% to 5.2%. Connection rates are high at 96.7% locally and 90.4% in general. Communication outside the area is 81.8%.

I am very surprised Matos. I don’t think he’s a flash in the pan, but there may be inconsistencies. In addition, the home park is not the largest. That said, the plate steering profile is top notch and this power didn’t come out of nowhere. There is history in that department and it looks like he made the right decision to be aggressive and swing the ropes. With Lee out for the year, the opportunity is there for Matos. And he had 253 plate appearances in the majors last season, so this isn’t his first rodeo.

Of course, the pitchers will eventually be fine. I would imagine they start walking more often so he can’t open pitches. And he was chasing the fields because of the increase in anger. Can he adapt to the adjustments and be patient enough to wait for the pitches he can open up? It will be interesting to see how this game of cat and mouse plays out.

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