Where Are They Now?: 2016 RHP John Matthews

Greg Williams
Pennsylvania Director of Scouting

Down under: Spokane Indians pitcher John Matthews comes at hitters from  different angles | The Spokesman-Review

Ranked No. 18 in the Pennsylvania Class of 2016, John Matthews put together an all-state caliber high school career as a SS/RHP at Punxsutawney High School. Following two years of competing as a two-way player at Kent State University Matthews was converted to strictly a pitcher in 2019. The switch paid dividends as Matthews went 7-6 with 91 strikeouts in 77.2 innings of work as a junior.

Matthews went on to be drafted in the 8th round of the 2019 draft by the Texas Rangers. In his first season of minor league baseball he struck out 23 batters in 17 innings of work while holding opposing hitters to a .222 average against.

Matthews was a standout as a member of Team Pennsylvania at the 2014 PBR Future Games.

John Matthews

Class of 2016 / RHP

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2016
    Commitment: Kent State
  • Primary Position: RHP
    Secondary Position: SS
  • High School: Punxsutawney Area
    State: PA
  • Summer Team: Team All*American
  • Height: 6-1
    Weight: 185lbs
  • Bat/Throw: R/R


85 - 88
74 - 76
77 - 79
73 - 75
INF Velo
Exit Velo

Scouting Report


A converted infielder, (#128) Johnny Matthews served as Kent State's primary shortstop as a freshman before transitioning to the mound as a sophomore as a key bullpen arm. Now a member of the weekend rotation, he's struggled to gain footing in his new role thus far, going winless in four starts with a 9.74 ERA and 1.84 WHIP. He appeared primed to turn the corner against West Virginia on Saturday, striking out seven Mountaineers over five scoreless innings before the wheels came off in the sixth inning where he gave up five runs and got chased from the game. At his best, Matthews utilizes a high three-quarter delivery and quick arm to pound the the zone with four pitches. There's late life on his 90-92 mph fastball, a pitch he was able to command for much of the contest. He throws a pair of breaking balls: a tight slider at 80-81 with late tilt, and a curveball with bigger shape at 75-78 and 11-to-5 break, both of which flashed above average. At 81-83 with minimal movement, his changeup lacked behind the other offerings, but he does a good job in replicating his fastball arm speed. (Granger)

8/2/14 Matthews showed well in all facets of the game showing why he is currently ranked No. 9 in the PA Class of 2016. The 6-foot, 160-pound SS/RHP ran a 7.20 60-yard dash and showcased an 84 mph arm across the diamond while making a number of plays look routine in game action. Matthews flashed an 88 mph bat exit velocity and went 2-for-4 with two walks at the plate over the course of three games. The righty topped at 85 mph on the mound and caught many scout's eyes with his drop down slider and fastball that at times had hitters baffled.



Matthews turned heads by showing a significant velocity bump since his last appearance at a PBR event. The 6-foot, 160-pound two-way prospect sat 84-87 while touching 88 twice in two innings of work. Matthews commanded a sharp breaking, two-plane curveball with 11/5 break at 75 mph and a changeup at 79 mph. The righty also flashed a drop down slider at 75 mph and a fastball thrown at the same arm angle that had significant arm side run. Matthews will be participating in the PBR Future Games for Team Pennsylvania as a shortstop and will throw and inning as well.



Matthews showed well in all facets of the game. The 6-foot, 150-pound prospect showed good feet and hands with an above average 82 mph arm across the infield. Matthews displayed an 82 mph bat exit velocity and the ability to consistently drive the baseball to all fields. He sat 82-83 on the mound from a high 3/4 arm slot with some arm side run to his fastball. Matthews also commanded a 70 mph 11/5 breaking curveball and a 77 mph changeup thrown at fastball arm speed with some run and late sink.



The 6-foot, 150-pound two-way prospect continued to impress with his glove and with his bat. Matthews showcased the ability to play the baseball on the move with throws of 83 mph across the diamond. He shows fluid actions and a clean release that make him one of the top middle infielders in his class. Matthews went 1-for-4 at the plate in game action at Misericordia University.



Matthews has an athletic frame, and a loose arm that produces arm side run to his fastball. He sat 80-82 in three innings of work over two days. The 6-foot, 150-pound righty also showcased a sharp breaking 11/5 curveball at 73 mph and 71 mph changeup at near fastball arm speed. Matthews has legitimate two-way ability, with his defensive work standing out for a prospect his age. He showed an 83 mph arm across the diamond and agile feet. Matthews has a tendency to get a bit long with his swing plane, but barrels the baseball consistently and the ball jumps off his bat. While he went hitless on the weekend, he showed good plate presence and will be a quality hitter at the next level.



Matthews, the No. 9 ranked player in the PA Class of 2016, is a long limbed, 6-foot, 150-pound SS/RHP. He showed advanced footwork and soft hands at shortstop and a strong arm on throws of 82 mph across the diamond. Matthews will need to work to shorten his swing path but showed good hands and the ability to square the baseball consistently. He sat 78-80 while touching 82 mph from the mound out of a high 3/4 arm slot. Matthews also commanded a 69 mph 11/5 breaking curve ball and a 73 mph slider during his work on the mound.



Matthews is a 5-foot-11, 150-pound prospect who has the potential to be one of the top middle infielders in his class. He showed athletic actions and a solid 82 mph throwing arm. Matthews moves well laterally and takes precise angles to the baseball. He showed a quick exchange and the ability to make plays on the move. Offensively, Matthews showed a short swing path and good extension with a bat exit velocity of 79 mph. He squared the baseball consistently and showed the potential for some power with added maturity to his athletic frame. Matthews completed his day by throwing a very solid bullpen. Using an over the top arm slot, Matthews sat 77-79 with a long, loose arm. Matthews showed command of a developing 69 mph curveball and a 72 mph changeup with arm side run. His best pitch was a 71 mph slider that has late break.


3/9/19 vs West Virginia

John Matthews Pitching (8/1/14)

Player News



2021 Preseason All-State - South/Central PA 02/06 Iron Horse Sports Complex
Super 60 Pro Showcase NATIONAL 02/07 MOSH Performance Center
2021 Preseason All-State - Pittsburgh (3PM Session) PA 02/07 All American Fieldhouse
2021 Preseason All-State - Pittsburgh (9AM Session) PA 02/07 All American Fieldhouse
2021 Northeast ProCase (2021 Grads Only) PA 02/13 Liberty Sports Arena
2021 Preseason All-State - Erie PA 02/13 Erie Premier Sports
2021 Preseason All-State - North/Central PA 02/14 Liberty Sports Arena
2021 Preseason All-State - East (11AM Session - SOLD OUT) PA 02/27 Keystone State Baseball Academy
2021 Preseason All-State East (3PM Session) PA 02/27 Keystone State Baseball Academy
2021 JR PA State Games Trials - Central PA 03/06 Liberty Sports Arena
2021 JR PA State Games Trials - East PA 03/14 Keystone State Baseball Academy
2021 JR PA State Games Trials - West PA 03/14 All American Fieldhouse

Previous "Where are they now" articles