2017 College Draft Profile: J.J. Matijevic

School: University of Arizona; Class: Junior

Position: IF/OF; B/T: L/R

Height: 6-0; Weight: 199

Previously Drafted: Boston Red Sox, 22nd round, 2014

 

Background: The Red Sox took a late round flier on Matijevic coming out of Norwin High School three years ago, drafting him in the 22nd round, 674th overall. And Matijevic proved that he could hold his own against elite collegiate competition.

The defensive vagabond batted a respectable .238/.317/.406 with 13 doubles, one triple, and three homeruns in 49 games for former Head Coach Andy Lopez. Matijevic, who’s bounced around the infield and outfield, improved – greatly – during his first taste of the Cape Cod League that summer: in 38 games for the Falmouth Commodores, the 6-foot, sub-200-pound slugger batted .333/.353/.479 with nine doubles, four homeruns, and a trio of stolen bases (though it took him seven attempts). On the downside, he posted a problematic 25-to-5 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Matijevic continued to improve during his sophomore season as well, batting .287/.332/.414 with 17 doubles, a pair of triples, and four more long balls. His plate discipline, 47-to-17 strikeout-to-walk ratio, still lacked. He also appeared in 23 games for the Commodores in the Cape once again, batting a scorching .376/.449/.553 in 85 at bats.

This season, Matijevic finally put it all together for the Wildcats.

In 56 games, the slight-framed bopper finished in the Top 20 among all Division I hitters in batting average with a .385 mark to go along with a .440 OBP and a .650 slugging percentage. He posted career highs in doubles (29), homeruns (10), RBI (64), walks (22), and stolen bases (nine).  

 

Projection: A man without a position. Matijevic, for all his offensive prowess, doesn’t pack enough wallop for a first baseman. His bat profiles much better as a second baseman, a position he flirted with as a sophomore. And his sub-6-foot frame doesn’t offer up a whole lot of projection either.

Matijevic shows a little bit of speed, solid-average power, and the potential to develop a better-than-average bat. His lack of patience – it’s suboptimal, at best – also cuts into his ceiling as well. If a team’s sold on his ability to play second base, Matijevic could hear his name being called in the middle of the second round.

 

Ceiling: 1.5- to 2.0-win player

Floor:  1.0-win player

Risk: Moderate

Grade: Second Round

 

 



About

After serving as a video scout/analyst for Baseball Info Solutions, Joe Werner began writing at his original site, ReleasePoints.com. He’s since transitioned into his current niche, prospect analysis, at ProspectDigest.com. He has been fortunate — and incredibly blessed — to have some of his work published and mentioned by several major media outlets, including: ESPN, Cleveland.com and the Baseball Research Journal. He can be reached at: JosephMWerner@yahoo.com.


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