Rockies' Matzek aims to regain old form

Rockies' Matzek aims to regain old form

The 2011 season was an adventure for Tyler Matzek, the Rockies' No. 6 prospect. He lost his feel for the strike zone and even went home to work with his old pitching coach to get straightened out. It worked, to an extent, and he showed considerable progress once he returned.

Everyone was curious to see how the 2009 first-round Draft pick would respond this year, especially with his promotion to the hitting-friendly California League. Overall, the response has been a good one, but Matzek was particularly sharp this past week, earning him Prospect Watch Pitcher of the Week honors.

Matzek made two starts spanning 15 innings, and the lefty was lights-out, winning both starts. He allowed just one earned run (0.60 ERA) on six hits (.120 batting average against) while striking out 16. More importantly, he walked only three.

If Matzek can continue that drop in his walk rate, he could regain the prospect status that made him such a high Draft pick. As it is, Matzek is proving to be fairly unhittable, standing fifth in the California League in ERA (2.64), fourth in strikeouts (66) and first in batting average against (.173). But he also tops the league with 40 walks, leading to a 6.2 BB/9 ratio.