Name: Matt Tabor
DOB: 7/14/1998 (Age 20)
Acquired: 3rd Round Pick, 2017 Draft
Most Notable Tool: Mid 90s Fastball
Season Stats: 14 Starts, 60 2⁄3 IP, 2-1, 3.26 ERA, 46/13 K/BB, 4 HR, 43.9% GB rate for Short A Hillsboro
2018 Season Summary: Tabor started 2018 in Extended Spring Training before spending the second half of the season for the Short A Hillsboro Hops, completely skipping rookie ball. He showed solid control numbers with a 46/13 K/BB in 14 starts. Overall he did a solid job of limiting the damage against him with only 13 walks and 4 homers allowed overall, which is a good sign for a young pitcher.
Tools: Fastball 50/60, Slider 45/55, Change-Up 45/55, Command 45/55
Tabor is more of a cerebral pitcher although the combination of a 92-95 MPH heater with a decently developing slider and change-up should give him a strong 3-pitch mix in the future. His delivery is clean and very repeatable, although there is a bit of effort in it
Upside: Tabor has the makings for a possible middle of the rotation arm with three above-average pitches. For a player just one season removed from high school, he also shows a more advanced understanding of sequencing hitters during an at-bat. While the strikeouts were not there in Hillsboro, the lack of free passes and home runs shows a sign of solid control in a league where he’s younger than the average player. Tabor still has plenty of growth left to do physically, as he’s still around 180 pounds and has room to add muscle weight to about 200 before hitting the majors.
Risk: Tabor is still very raw as a prospect overall with a lot of development left before he’s ready to hit the majors. In terms of attitude and aptitude, I’m not as worried as I would be with your prototypical 20 year old pitching prospect who hasn’t played in college or full season ball.
Likely 2019 Assignment: With the success he had at Short A, I think Tabor is ready for full season ball although the team should have a tight leash should he really struggle mightily in his first 5-10 starts. The telltale signs will be K-BB% and HR/9, because a bad walk rate coupled with a high homerun rate means that he’s not fooling hitters. I think he’ll do fine as full season ball should be a good challenge for him.
ETA: 2022 Season