The KC Royals have several prospects with unique physical traits. Seuly Matias is one of them, and it’ll be on him to put it all together in 2020.
Talent evaluation is one of the most important and fundamental parts of any sport. Baseball is no different and for players like KC Royals outfield prospect Seuly Matias, some of his tools jump off the page.
One of the better international players of his class, Matias flew under most radars until he broke the Baseball Prospectus top 100 list ahead of the 2018 season. He made his No. 75 ranking look foolish that season, hitting a whopping 31 home runs and breaking records in the process. Although he struck out 131 times in 94 games, his power potential alone was enough to peg him 52nd on the following campaign’s list.
2019 was not kind to Matias. He dealt with a fractured hand that limited him to just 57 games on the year. Posting a .148/.259/.307 line and seeing his home run total decline all the way to four, he took close to the largest step back imaginable.
With that said, the physical gifts are still there and he has time to turn things around. MLB Pipeline ranks him as the KC Royals’ No. 14 prospect this year after pegging him No. 11 in 2019. Here are some projections for Matias based on what we know right now.
Matias comes out of the gates swinging in 2020, but his approach at the plate is far more refined. He’s more patient and has a greater understanding of the strike zone and pitch selection/recognition as a hitter. His batting average climbs back up into the .230-.250 range and he picks up where he left off in 2018: clobbering a ton of baseballs.
This continues and Matias’ ceiling is pretty much established. He’ll never be a very mature hitter at the plate, but having a Jorge Soler-lite with better instincts in the outfield would be a major plus for the KC Royals down the road.
Injuries strike again. That’s the easiest scenario to come up with in regards to any player but in the case of Matias specifically, the risk is a bit elevated. Aside from that, it’s possible he never becomes a more complete hitter. He’s better than the .148 BA he posted in 2019, but by how much? Could that prevent him from ever reaching the major league level?
Most likely outcome:
Matias makes good on his profile as a hitter. The batting average remains low and the strikeout totals remain pretty high, although he offsets them with solid defense and remarkable raw power. The numbers begin to round back into the shape they took a couple of years ago and he remains on track to join the KC Royals in late 2021 or early 2022.
Seuly Matias is one of the more intriguing prospects in all of minor league baseball, but he comes with a true boom-or-bust title. 2020 will show his true colors.