Former Pinkerton Academy multi-sport star Zach Mathieu would be the first to tell you that he has had distinct ups and downs so far during his brief professional baseball career.
But the former Astro baseball and basketball standout began the month of August like a blazing fire, giving both the New York Mets’ organization and everybody else paying attention a good look at what Mathieu is capable of as he continues to play Appalachian Rookie League ball with the Kingsport (Tennessee) Mets.
In 10 contests between Aug. 2 and 14, the 6-foot-7-inch, 265-pound first baseman batted at an impressive .353 clip with 12 hits in 34 at-bats and seven runs batted in.
Overall, that hot streak helped make the ex-Pinkerton standout’s season numbers through 34 games even more solid. Those numbers included a .269 batting average, two home runs, 18 RBI, nine doubles, 16 walks, 43 total bases, a .413 slugging percentage, and a .786 OPS (on-base plus slugging).
Along with his hot start to August, Mathieu also made a considerable amount of noise earlier this summer when he accounted for all of the K-Mets’ run production in a 3-1 victory over the Princeton Rays.
The big first-sacker saved the best for last that evening, hammering a pitch over the wall in left field in the bottom of the ninth for a walk-off, two-run homer. It was the former Astro’s second professional home run.
Teammates swarmed Mathieu as he crossed the plate after launching the game-winning smash, and Kingsport celebrated its second walk-off win of the 2014 season.
The former Northeast-10 Conference Player of the Year at Franklin Pierce University in Rindge was drafted by the National League’s Mets in the 16th round (476th overall) of the 2013 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. He batted a modest .213 in his first 20 games of the 2014 Appalachian League campaign last summer with six doubles, two homers, 10 runs batted in, 25 total bases, a .410 slugging percentage, and a .734 OPS. In the latter 10 games, Mathieu was hitting considerably better at .276 with an OPS of .806.
He finished his Franklin Pierce career ranked fourth all-time in program history in doubles (55), seventh in runs batted in (128), tied for eighth in home runs (22), tied for ninth in runs scored (139), 11th in both hits (215) and walks (63), and 13th in at-bats (641). And that was in three college hardball seasons.
Among program single-season records, Mathieu finished his career ranked second in hits (87 in 2012), tied for second in doubles (22 in 2012), tied for third in at-bats (235, 2012), tied for fourth in runs scored (59, 2012), tied for fifth in home runs (13, 2012), sixth in slugging percentage (.672, 2012), tied for sixth in triples (five, 2012), tied for ninth in doubles (19, 2013), and tied for 10th in runs batted in (49, 2012).