Matthew Purke in my opinion is the best prep prospect available for the 2009 draft. This may surprise some people, but I actually have Purke #2 overall at this point in time, behind only Stephen Strasburg. That's how good I think he could be if he's able to stay healthy, not that there's any reason to believe that he won't outside of the usual concern with young arms. Purke has a slender frame, yet he's a well-proportioned overall athlete with plenty of room to fill out as his body starts to mature into his early 20's. He throws from a low three-quarters delivery that creates a fair amount of deception, and his arm action is so effortless it makes it look as though he isn't putting much stress on his arm. The ball explodes out of his hand, as he can touch 95 with his fastball and sits comfortably in the 89-92 range, and there's a little bit of natural, late sinking movement to his fastball. While he does maintain his velocity deep into ballgames at this stage in his career, filling out and adding more muscle mass should only help him continue to do so, not only over the course of a game, but over the course of a much longer season. His arm action is tailor-made for a slider, a pitch that comes out of his hand looking like a fastball that explodes in on the hands of right-handed batters and away from left-handed swingers. Purke also throws a nice changeup that is advanced for his age, but doesn't throw it as often given the success of his fastball-slider combination. A talented overall athlete, he fields his position well and also is a gifted hitter that plays first base when he's not pitching. In addition to his physical attributes, Purke also receives high marks for his character. Not only does he have a good head on his shoulders, but he is also very confident in his abilities and has a nasty competitive streak that causes him to want the ball and exceed in the highest pressure situations. During the summer of 2008 Purke pitched for the Aflac All-American Classic, the Under Armour Classic, the Perfect Game National Showcase, the Tournament of the Stars and for the Team USA 18U National Team. He has committed to play for Texas Christian University, but I highly doubt he ever steps foot on campus.
Questions? Comments? Contact Brian Kapellusch (president, systems engineer) @
Brewerfan.net is a fan-based independent site, and is NOT affiliated with the Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Club.
Please support the Milwaukee Brewers by visiting their site at http://brewers.mlb.com