The Farm Boy Files: J.R. Mathes

The Farm Boy Files is a feature designed to better acquaint us all with our Cubs prospects. This week’s profile is of left-handed pitcher J.R. Mathes.

Full Name – Alfred G. Mathes III

Basic Info – 6’3″, 210 lbs. Born November 9th, 1981, in Granger, IN. Selected by the Cubs in the 16th round of the 2004 First-Year Player Draft out of Western Michigan University.

Statistical Stuff – For AAA Iowa in 2009, he went 12-8 with a 3.62 ERA in 129.1 innings (21 starts.) 51 K to 14 BB, 1.26 WHIP, .291 OpBA. He played for Caracas in the Venezuela Winter League, pitching 28.1 innings and going 1-2 with a 5.08 ERA.

Repertoire Includes – Cutter, sinker, change-up, breaking ball

Socks – CHECK!

In case you were wondering – J.R.’s favorite pro athlete is himself, he would like to have dinner with Elmer Fudd, Bill Gates and Bruce Lee, he is afraid of moldy bread, he wanted a cheetah for Christmas, he has mad computer hacking skills, and he’s annoyed by people who hold their pinky finger in the air while drinking.

Bottom Line – It’s crunch time for J.R., in a manner of speaking. He has spent the last three years at triple-A Iowa and will become a minor-league free agent after this season. I found that detailed info was hard to come by for this one, but did find one decent and recent article. Here are a few excerpts:

In three seasons at Iowa, [Mathes] has become a familiar face around Des Moines and has won 31 games. In 421 2/3 innings, the southpaw has struck out 210 while walking 83.

And yet the Chicago Cubs have not called the former Western Michigan University standout to the majors while bringing up many of his teammates for a September look-see.

The Cubs have yet to even place Mathes on their 40-man roster.

“Des Moines is a real nice place,” said Mathes. “But I’ve been there for far too long.”

Could 2010 be the year?

“That’s a great question,” said Mathes this week during a break in workouts at Western Michigan in Kalamazoo. “What else do I have to prove at this level? I feel like I’ve raised some eyebrows.”

“Patience is a virtue,” said Mathes. “All I can do is be patient and wait and, hopefully, I get that opportunity.”

With the calendar turning to a new year, Mathes is picking up his workout pace and expects to attend his second big league camp in Mesa, Ariz., beginning in mid-February.

“I’ll just keep on doing what I’m doing,” said Mathes, who expected to talk with Cubs minor league pitching coordinator Mark Riggins this week. “I’m getting things honed in.”


3 thoughts on “The Farm Boy Files: J.R. Mathes

  1. I love the Farm Boy Files stuff! I am kind of surprised that the Cubs didn’t call him up last year too. Not sure what his Fastball is like but he does play in the NL and seems to be getting by with multiple pitches. Why not let him take a shot?

    Hopefully he gets called up this year.

    Another thing I liked about this profile was how normal the guy seems. I mean he took a pic with Mr. Potato Head, cracks on Iowa and wants to eat with Elmer Fudd!? How much cooler can you get? Thanx for making an unknown prospect more than just a #/name.

    • I’m glad you enjoy ’em, because I have a ton of fun writing these up.

      I didn’t really realize until after I started on this one that Mathes is kind of a “non-prospect.” He didn’t make the top 50 prospects list this year or last year. All the more reason to root for him, though! I’ll be trying to keep an eye on him now.

  2. Pingback: Game Day Preview 4.28 | Pine Tar Press

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