It was an eventful year for Jorge Mateo. He completely underwhelmed in a repeat trip to High-A, received a promotion to Double-A anyway, raked, got dealt to the A's, and kept raking. From a fantasy perspective, Mateo is the best prospect Oakland received in the Sonny Gray trade. He has legitimate 80-grade speed -- a tool that has allowed Billy Hamilton and Dee Gordon to not only be relevant, but coveted in roto leagues, despite posting isolated power figures that look more like fahrenheit readings. Unlike Hamilton and Gordon, Mateo is not a zero in the power department, and could pull 8-to-12 balls out per year at peak. His batting average will likely fluctuate quite a bit based on BABIP, but he could be a .250 or .260 hitter who occasionally flirts with hitting .280. Since the trade, he is back to being developed as a shortstop. He could be ready for a callup in the second half, but the A's have an annoying amount of controllable, albeit uninspiring middle infielders, so it's hard to say when Mateo will be handed an everyday gig.
Mateo was optioned to Triple-A Nashville on Tuesday, Jane Lee of MLB.com reports. Mateo had a terrific game Tuesday against the Royals. The 22-year-old went 2-for-4, with both hits being home runs. However, with Jed Lowrie and Marcus Semien at second base and shortstop, respectively, it seemed likely that Mateo would return to the minors before the 2018 season got underway. After logging a .292/.333/.518 line over 30 games at Double-A Midland following his trade from the Yankees last season, Mateo will have his first chance to play at the Triple-A level.
Mateo (knee) went 0-for-2 with two strikeouts in Tuesday's 5-3 Cactus League win over the Rangers. The young speed merchant's long-awaited Cactus League debut was ultimately a dud from a statistical perspective, but all that matters is that he's back on the field. Mateo entered the game at shortstop for Marcus Semien in the fifth and promptly went down on strikes in both the seventh and eighth innings. The 22-year-old is likely to see plenty of reps during the duration of the exhibition slate, assuming there are no further issues with the knee.
Mateo (knee) will enter Tuesday's spring game against the Rangers at shortstop to replace Marcus Semien, Jane Lee of MLB.com reports. Further solidifying that the infield prospect's knee issue is behind him, Mateo is listed as an available player on the Athletics' lineup card for Tuesday's bout. Mateo aggravated a left knee sprain in late February and missed the first batch of spring games. He'll now be able to play uninhibited with the big-league club before heading back to Double-A for the regular season.
Mateo (knee) is scheduled to make his Cactus League debut Tuesday against the Rangers, Jane Lee of MLB.com reports. The promising prospect has been slowed by the injury in the early going of spring training, but he's apparently well enough to make his long-awaited debut. Mateo's blinding speed is a subject of considerable intrigue among the coaching staff and his teammates, yet despite his superior physical gifts, the 22-year-old is expected to begin the regular season at Triple-A Nashville. Mateo hit .292 with four home runs and 20 RBI while also stealing 13 bases with Double-A Midland following his arrival from the Yankees in the Sonny Gray trade last summer. According to executive VP of baseball operations Billy Beane, he could potentially find his way to the big-league club at some point in 2018.
Mateo (knee) will run the bases Saturday, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Mateo suffered a knee sprain at the start of camp and has been limited in practice thus far. The young shortstop has played just 60 games at the Double-A level and isn't a candidate to start the year in the majors, so this injury should have little effect on his eventual ETA.