Matias was the jewel of Kansas City’s 2015 J2 free agent signing class, signing for $2.25 million. He’s the epitome of a risk/reward player, though his explosive athleticism and dynamic tools have made him a favorite of scouts covering the low minors.
Still just 19 years old, he’s a physical specimen at 6’3’’ and 200 pounds, resembling Jorge Soler (RF, Royals) at the same age. Blessed with extremely fast bat speed, Matias generates light-tower raw power and regularly puts on a show in batting practice. He’s already a plus defender in right field, where he ranges easily to both sides and has a cannon of an arm. Scouts’ questions center on his ability to make consistent contact, as he strikes out a ton (29-percent last year) and struggles to recognize off-speed pitches. He swings from his heels with a stiff uppercut that exposes plenty of holes on the inside part of the plate.
Ticketed for Class A Lexington in 2018, his loudest advocates believe a strong showing in the South Atlantic League will vault Matias into Top 100 discussions—a similar trajectory to other toolsy Sally League outfielders in recent years like Cristian Pache (CF, Braves), Victor Robles (CF, Nationals), and Estevan Florial (CF, Yankees). His ceiling is arguably as high as any position prospect in the Royals’ system, though he is still numerous years away from developing the hit tool and approach to compete at the big league level. There is extremely high risk with teenagers that swing and miss as much as Matias does, but the reward could be an impact right fielder with 25+ home run potential and game-changing arm strength.