Detroit Tigers: Tyler Mattison piecing together a strong fall performance
By Tyler Kotila
Detroit Tigers right-hander Tyler Mattison is piecing together a good fall.
The Arizona Fall League is full steam ahead as the season’s third week gets underway. One of the lesser-known Detroit Tigers prospects, Tyler Mattison, has been solid early in the 2022 AFL season.
The Detroit Tigers right-handed pitcher is not near the top of the team’s top prospect list, but he did crack MLB dot com’s Top-30 prospect list for the Tigers organization. Mattison slots in at the 25th spot on the list.
Mattison was a fourth-round selection from the 2021 MLB Draft. He was drafted from Bryant University in Rhode Island, where he spent four years playing for the Bulldogs. He pieced together a stellar senior campaign with Bryant and earned himself a look during the draft.
He is 23 years old and fresh off his first summer playing affiliate ball with the Tigers organization. He spent time in the FCL with the Tigers before getting his bump to the Single-A Lakeland Flying Tigers roster.
He pitched 27 games throughout the summer of 2022, being transitioned into a bullpen role. Just three appearances were with the FCL Tigers, with 24 of his appearances coming with the Flying Tigers.
Mattison racked up 39.2 innings pitched while managing a 4.54 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP while punching out 54 hitters. He was sent to Arizona to participate in the AFL after the affiliate season ended and has gotten into a groove early on.
The first two weeks of the season have been kind to Mattison. He’s thrown four scoreless innings for the Salt River Rafters in four appearances. In fact, the AFL itself has been kind to the Tigers’ pitching prospects, except for Matt Walker.
Joey Wentz has been a stud for the first two weeks. Jack Anderson has been better than other Rafters pitchers, and Mattison was credited with the Rafters’ first win of the AFL season.
It’s good to see Mattison piecing together such a strong fall performance. The righty has been able to mix his pitches and work on defining that pitch mix and being efficient.
He’s got a firm fastball with four-seam traits; he’s gotten up into the mid-90s on the heater. He throws a changeup in the low- to mid-80s with some fade, and a cutter in the mid-80s with some lateral break. His slider is in the low-80s with more depth and break to it than the cutter.
Mattison’s got a higher leg lift that gets up above the belt but is controlled. He’s got a longer arm action/arm stroke to his delivery. It’s working, though; he’s getting the job done in the AFL, which bodes well for him moving forward.
Even if he’s been shifted to a bullpen role, it’s good to see Mattison finding success with his new team. As the AFL season continues, keep an eye on him. If he can continue this solid stretch of performances, it could bode well for him moving forward.
The biggest obstacle for Mattison will be surviving the purge as Harris begins to make trades and roster moves to adjust the makeup of the organization.