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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Scouting Report, RHP Justin Masterson

The 25-year old RHP was a 2nd round pick of the Red Sox in 2006. He made his major league debut in 2008 and was then traded to the Indians in a package for Victor Martinez in 2009. He is an extreme ground-ball pitcher, and has a career 4.15 ERA and 1.43 WHIP, but with a good strike out rate (7.8 K/9). In addition to his extreme ground ball rates, he has an outrageous platoon split; Right-handed hitters only hit .205 and slug .302 for his career, but lefties destroy him, hitting .306 and slug .456, with an OBP of .406. He faced the Mets once last year in relief, and pitched three effective innings, allowing one run, only three hits and one walk.

He has a big, strong body (6'6", 250 pounds), has a high leg kick and throws from a long side-arm slot. He throws a heavy sinking fastball (89-92 mph), a sweeping slider (83 mph) and mixes in an occasional change-up (84 mph). He is slow to the plate. He throws his fastball 80% of the time (45% 2-seemer), and a plus slider 18% of the time. This year hitters are 9-48 (.188) off of his slider.

This year he's 2-5, but is coming off a complete game shut-out versus his former team and got 16 ground ball outs. He has a 4.74 ERA and a 1.64 WHIP due to an extremely high walk rate (4.6 W/9). He is still striking out a ton of hitters ( > 8 K/9) and has a 64% ground-ball rate, which is among the best in the majors. Six of his 12 starts he's allowed two runs or less, but has also allowed five runs or more three times.

He is a ground-ball machine who dominates right-handed hitters, but struggles versus lefties. The Mets need to load the line-up with lefties, aka C Carter, J Feliciano, A Cora.

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