NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Steven Matz made his major league debut for the New York Mets on June 28, and let’s just say he arrived with authority.

The 24-year-old lefty had six strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings and gave up only two earned runs in the 7-2 win over Cincinnati. He was even more impressive with the bat, going 3 for 3 with a record-setting four RBIs.

What else do you need to know about the prized rookie? Here are five things:

Steven Matz has a laugh after the sixth inning against the Cincinnati Reds with teammate Jacob deGrom at Citi Field on June 28, 2015. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Steven Matz has a laugh after the sixth inning against the Cincinnati Reds with teammate Jacob deGrom at Citi Field on June 28, 2015. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

His performance at the plate was no fluke: Matz has a reputation for being an all-around athlete. But he didn’t have many chances to show off his offensive skills until this season at Triple-A Las Vegas, where he hit .304 with three RBIs in 23 at-bats. “The kid’s special, man,” Mets catcher Johnny Monell said. “The kid’s a super athlete.”

He’s a local kid: Matz is a New Yorker. Specifically, he’s a Long Islander who was born in Stony Brook and went to Ward Melville High School in neighboring East Setauket. Oh yeah, he’s a Mets fan, too. “Growing up watching Endy Chavez make that catch over the wall (in the 2006 NLCS) is probably the most vibrant memory I have,” Matz said ahead of his debut.

He’s not the only famous Ward Melville alumni: Other notable names to grace the halls of Matz’s high school include former MLB slugger Mo Vaughn, professional wrestler Mick Foley, comedian Kevin James, actress Frances Conroy and retired NFL players Chris Dieterich and Todd Sauerbrun.

He a Minaya product: Matz was drafted by the Mets 72nd overall in 2009, the year before the franchise parted ways with general manager Omar Minaya. His minor league debut was delayed until 2012 due to Tommy John surgery. “I couldn’t say we saw him as a No. 1,” Minaya recently told NJ.com. “Gotta give credit to the development people there.”

He’s a protege of ex-big leaguer Neal Heaton: Matz started working with the former MLB journeyman when he was 10 years old. “He displayed that fastball, a gift from God,” Heaton, a New Yorker who played with seven franchises during his career, told Newsday in 2014. But Matz’s star really began to rise thanks to ex-Mets pitcher Frank Viola, who convinced the left-hander to begin throwing a curveball at Single-A Savannah.

Comments

Leave a Reply