Jump to content
Twins Daily
  • Create Account

Cedar Rapids Kernels Pitching Reports: Matt Canterino


Matt Canterino has put up some really intriguing numbers early in the season for Cedar Rapids.

The Minnesota Twins own one of the deeper farm systems in all of baseball and their cupboard is chock full of intriguing pitching prospects, many of whom may find their way to Minneapolis over the next one to two seasons.

One such pitcher is right-hander Matt Canterino of Southlake, Texas, a national hotbed for producing professional athletes, who is currently stashed at High-A Cedar Rapids.

Canterio - the Twins’ 2019 second round pick out of Rice University - comes in at No. 7 down on the farm, according to MLB Pipeline, making him the team’s third-highest regarded pitching prospect, behind only Jordan Balazovic (No. 4) and Jhoan Duran (No. 5).

Standing at 6’2” and weighing in at a robust 220 pounds, Canterino is a somewhat intimidating presence on the mound, particularly compared to his peers. While there isn’t much left in terms of projectability when it comes to the 23-year-old’s physical attributes, he owns the rubber and the surrounding area thanks to an intensity that is frequently on display, particularly after a strikeout in which he practically saunters around while waiting to get the ball back. 

Canterino possesses a traditional four pitch mix consisting of a four seam fastball, slider, curveball, and changeup. Through his two starts this spring for the Kernels, he has primarily relied on his fastball and slider with his curveball employed occasionally down and out of the zone to pick up strikeouts. His fastball sits in the low- to mid-90s, though you’ll just have to take MLB pipeline’s word on that as minor league broadcasts don’t usually display radar gun readings. However, his slider - which has a significant amount of bite and often leads to batters looking lost at the plate - is his best pitch. 

He likes to get ahead in the count with his fastball and then use his breaking balls to induce strikeouts, something that he has done with regularity during his abbreviated minor league career. (He’s only completed nine starts as the Twins elected to play it safe with him in 2019 following his selection as Rice is notorious for overworking their starting pitchers.)

Canterino owns a 16.9 K/9 and 5.0 K/BB ratio in eight innings across his two starts and 2021 and 12.6 K/9 and 4.2 K/BB for his career. However, despite the gaudy numbers, his command has been somewhat suspect early this spring, particularly in regard to his curveball. Canterino employs a herky-jerky, high-effort windup that produces a significant amount of whip action from his arm, which can lead to control issues and has many concerned about his health long-term. 

When he misses the strike zone, he misses the strike zone. He spiked numerous pitches - the majority of which appeared to be curveballs - during his latest start against the Quad City River Bandits, which resulted in three wild pitches and directly led to two runs crossing the plate. However, if he can gain more control of the curve and smooth out his delivery a touch (and stay healthy), his stuff carries the potential for him to be quite good at the MLB level.

 

From the stretch, Canterino is a little slow towards the plate despite not possessing a large leg kick, not that it matters as much as it may have, say, 10 years ago as the stolen base continues to go the way of the Dodo. 

 

All in all, Canterino has displayed plenty to be encouraged about during his first couple of starts with Cedar Rapids, though some further development is required before he’s ready for The Show. I would be surprised to see him make his debut for the Twins later this season - particularly because the team has two high-level prospects ahead of him and he’s only thrown 33 innings in the minors - however, it’s possible that he may find himself as high as St. Paul prior to season’s end.

MORE FROM TWINS DAILY
— Latest Twins coverage from our writers
— Recent Twins discussion in our forums
— Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email


View full article

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Recommended Posts

That's a horrible pitching motion. Looks like it's guaranteed to wreck every moving part in his upper body, as well as produce pitches scattered all over the place. Why has Canterino's motion not been majorly re-trained? Where are the professional coaches?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

He raises and lowers in a quick fashion but after that his delivery mechanics are fine. He probably opened his hips early on the downward plane early in his development and used his herky-jerky to keep weight back before going towards the plate. The Japanese pitchers use a pause in their delivery to keep their weight over the rubber. The key for every pitcher is to be repetitive and their mechanics smooth towards the plate and on time. He's fine. In addition, hitters hate something different. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, Lucas Seehafer PT said:

Considering doing more articles like this if people find them worthwhile. Drop a name in the comments that you'd like to read about next!

Any prospect not major league ready with an upside

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great article, thanks Lucas.

Try to watch a few games on MiLB when Canterino is on the mound.  Hopefully, he will continue getting good results and move up to Wichita by early summer.  That could put him on track to join the Twins mid-season, 2022.

One player I would love to hear more about is the young outfielder at Fort Myers, Urbina.  Continue to be amazed when other teams have some young 20 year old break-in and become a star.  Always ask, why can't the Twins be so fortunate.  Right now the one young kid that appears to have a chance of becoming that young star is Urbina.  But that optimism is based solely on his initial good results at low-A, being signed as a top prospect when he was 16, and the fact he just turned 19.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, jimbo92107 said:

That's a horrible pitching motion. Looks like it's guaranteed to wreck every moving part in his upper body, as well as produce pitches scattered all over the place. Why has Canterino's motion not been majorly re-trained? Where are the professional coaches?

I understand your thinking and point of view, but I'm with SarasotaBill on this one.  His motion is fine (until it isn't). 

When my son first started pitching and showed a bit of an aptitude for it, his delivery/arm slot was viewed as odd.  People kept trying to get him to change it to a more traditional, higher arm slot (he has a low 3/4 slot and looks like he's throwing the ball from 2B to 1st). However, he kept going back to it and kept having success so they finally let him be and go with it 🙂

Basically my point is that while Canterino's delivery looks odd at first, upon closer inspection... it just works.  Whether or not he will have long term succes... we shall see, but so far the early results are promising.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Looks like Canterino at least ready for AA. Will be interesting to watch how prospects are moved up, with late start to MiLB not many games played yet. There are a few others off to good starts at the level they are at but with such a small sample size difficult determine if ready to move up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, MN_ExPat said:

I understand your thinking and point of view, but I'm with SarasotaBill on this one.  His motion is fine (until it isn't). 

When my son first started pitching and showed a bit of an aptitude for it, his delivery/arm slot was viewed as odd.  People kept trying to get him to change it to a more traditional, higher arm slot (he has a low 3/4 slot and looks like he's throwing the ball from 2B to 1st). However, he kept going back to it and kept having success so they finally let him be and go with it 🙂

Basically my point is that while Canterino's delivery looks odd at first, upon closer inspection... it just works.  Whether or not he will have long term succes... we shall see, but so far the early results are promising.

I'm not saying that a non-standard pitching motion can't work. Check out Walter Johnson's arm action - just a tall, lanky kid skipping stones on a lake. Pitched a couple decades with no arm problems, and an ERA of about 2. But Johnson's motion was liquid smooth, where Cantarino's is jerky and abrupt.

A closer comp might be somebody like Bartolo Colon, whose motion looked a lot like a catcher's throw, behind the ear to a snap. But it was a simple motion, where Cantarino's is much more complicated. 

That said, I could be wrong, I'm no pro coach. He does do an abbreviated drop and drive with his legs. My concern is with the timing, what that energy does to his command and his upper body if it's off by just a bit. As you said, we shall see.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

Featured Video

×
×
  • Create New...