Boston Red Sox Prospects: How 2020 Impacted Bryan Mata
How did 2020 impact some of the Boston Red Sox top prospects?
2020 was an insane year for the Boston Red Sox. The COVID-19 pandemic halted the season during Spring Training. Soon what was hoping to be just a few week break was suddenly jeopardizing the entire season.
After a long time (much longer than it should have taken) there was an agreement on a 60-game MLB season. That meant there would be no minor league season though. Instead, each team had an alternate site. There, they had a pool of players that could train and prepare for the year in case the team needed to call anyone up.
Obviously, this meant that a lot of prospects had wildly different seasons than expected. So we’re going to take a look at some of those Red Sox players and see how 2020 impacted them.
First on that list, pitching prospect Bryan Mata.
Mata is one of the few prospects that did not play in 2020 who might be able to say this year helped them more than it hurt them. He was at the alternate site, and was continuously impressing. And while he was impressing, the Red Sox pitching staff struggled.
That combination only built the hype up for Mata more. He never reached the Majors in 2020, but that likely wasn’t because of his performance. Honestly, Boston probably did not want to lose a year of Mata’s service in a 60-game season where they were one of the worst teams in the entire MLB.
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There was a chance Mata was not making it to the Majors in 2020 anyways though. Sure, it seemed like he would – but nothing was guaranteed. The pitcher would have started in Double-A. And at just 21, they would not have felt any need to rush him along.
Now he is not set to start 2021 in the Majors either. But the wait should not be as long. Mata proved he can hold his own against Major League talent while at the alternate site. Due to that, the Red Sox will probably be ready to fast track him.
Expect the prospect to start 2021 in Double-A. The kid gloves could be off though. Boston could have a plan in place for him that has him in the Majors before the All-Star break.
It’s particularly hard to tell how the 2020 alternate site went for most pitchers. With hitters it was a little easier to keep track of everything.
Mata made things easy though. Even when he was not dominating throughout a performance, he found a way to raise eyebrows with some nasty movement or simply by blowing a fastball by a hitter.
The loss of the MiLB season hurt the growth of every prospect. But Mata made the most of the opportunity given to him. And because of that, 2020 ended up being a positive year for the pitcher.
The overall impact of the 2020 season for Bryan Mata was simple. He proved to the Red Sox that he can handle Major League hitting and he’s ready to contribute as early as 2021. El Idolo might be arriving.