The Cincinnati Reds have selected catcher Matheu Nelson (goes by Mat) out of Florida State with their 1st round comp A pick in the 2021 Major League Baseball draft.
Mat Nelson Scouting Report
Height: 5′ 11″ | Weight: 209
Bats: Right | Throws: Right | Position: Catcher
Highest Ranking: 37th (Fangraphs)
Already 22-years-old, Mat Nelson is among the oldest juniors in the country in this draft. He’s coming off of a huge season with Florida State where he hit .330/.436/.773 with 17 doubles, 23 home runs, and 66 RBI. He walked 31 times but also struck out 58 times in just 53 games played.
Nelson has above-average power and can use it to all parts of the field. He’s also got a plus arm behind the plate and he’s a good defensive catcher. The concerns are there with just how much he can hit, though as he racked up high strikeout totals in college and struggles with quality secondary offerings. As a catcher the bar to hit isn’t as high as it is with other spots on the field, but the defense and power seem like they will work. How he will adjust to professional secondary offerings and how that effects just how much he can hit is the big question that makes Nelson a high risk, high reward kind of player.
Mat Nelson Video
Mat Nelson College Stats
You love the idea of the power and the defense that Mat Nelson brings to the table. But in a day and age when pitchers are striking guys out more than ever before, a hitter who struggles to make contact in college is incredibly risky even if they play a position where the bat is the last thing you worry about. Catchers see more pitches than anyone, so they should have a better grasp of the strikezone and pitch identification than other players. Still, Nelson struck out 25% of the time this past season in college against a bunch of pitchers who won’t be pros for the most part. As noted above – there’s a high risk/high reward here. The risk is that he can’t make enough contact to hit well enough to progress up the ladder. The upside is that he figures it out and can be a .250 hitter with 25 home runs and quality defense behind the plate and a staple in your lineup.
Scouting Director Brad Meador on Mat Nelson
“He’s a really good defensive catcher. He improved offensively this year. He has really good power. Another guy, anyone you talk to will tell you how good a make up player he was in college. All of the intangibles that go with the position that you’re looking for he has. Another guy we met with at the combine and was really impressive to sit down with.”
Click here to see the other scouting reports from the 2021 Major League Baseball Draft from the Cincinnati Reds.