Canadian right-handed pitcher Matt Brash has a quick arm and upside. The San Diego Padres are excited about his future.
In a system full of talent, it is very easy to get overlooked.
Matt Brash, the San Diego Padres fourth-round pick out of Niagara University, is probably someone you have not heard that much about in recent months. At 6-foot-1, Brash is not an opposing force on the mound when you initially set eyes on him. However, the right-handed pitcher has a plus fastball and an attitude to match.
Currently, his heater sits at 94-96 mph and has an excellent tilt to it as it approaches the plate. He repeats his mechanics well and gets through the ball easily with one of the quickest arm actions in the system. Brash will induce swings and misses at even the highest level.
The native of Kingston, Canada, comes from good genes as his father played baseball and ran track. In his junior season at Niagara, he went 4-for-5 with a 2.43 ERA in 14 starts. The pitcher threw three complete games and two shutouts on the season. Brash was named MAAC Pitcher of the Year and was selected to the All-MAAC First Team. Scholastically, he maintained a 3.67 grade point average and was a First Team Academic All-District honoree. The pitcher has a great head on his shoulders.
Most believe that Brash will ultimately end up in the bullpen for the Padres. Last season, he allowed one earned run in four-and-one-third innings pitched and struck out six batters in his professional debut. Shoulder fatigue ended his season a bit early, as the pitcher had a long baseball season. In Peoria, throughout the late summer and fall, Brash was seen working out and preparing himself for the 2020 season.
The 21-year-old has a plus slider presently as his natural arm speed easily fools the batters who are cheating on his fastball. The slider is a weapon, but he brings little else to the table as far as other secondary pitches. With a two-pitch arsenal, he will have trouble getting through a lineup for the third time.
The Padres are already showing strong indications that he will be a bullpen piece as all four of his appearances last year in the minors were in relief. Brash could add velocity to his fastball as he grows and gains muscle. The belief is that he could eventually be a triple-digit threat with the fastball when it is all said and done. That is very exciting.
In Peoria, San Diego may stretch him out a bit in an attempt to see how his arm responds. His future in the starting rotation comes down to whether or not he can rectify his changeup or develop a curve into a serviceable pitch. If that does not happen, the Padres will be content with a high-leverage reliever.
No matter what, the San Diego Padres will certainly get tremendous value from this young pitcher. If allowed to develop in the bullpen, Brash could advance rather quickly in 2020. Stay tuned and keep an eye on this talented young hurler.