KC prospect Matias hits palm tree with HR

March 2nd, 2021

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- There is simply no other way to put it: The ball that outfielder hit on Monday was crushed.

One of the Royals’ most powerful prospects, Matias announced his presence with force in the ninth inning of Kansas City’s 8-6 win over Cleveland. With a loud crack of the bat, the Royals’ No. 13 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline, launched a solo home run that hit the top of the palm trees next to the scoreboard beyond the left-field wall at Goodyear Ballpark.

“You see some that are hit every once in a while and you’re like, ‘Dang, that looked like it was really far,’” Royals manager Mike Matheny said. “But when you see it almost take off the top of a palm tree that’s behind the scoreboard, it gives a little more perspective to it.”

Statcast hasn’t yet made its way to all Spring Training ballparks, so there’s no official distance on the home run. Royals outfielder Nick Heath took to Twitter after the game to proclaim that it was hit at least 520 feet. For others, “far” was an accurate description.

“It looked like it was launched out of a potato gun,” Matheny said. “I don’t know. It was far.”

A top prospect in the 2015 international class, Matias possesses as much raw power as anyone in Minor League Baseball. At 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds, he stands out for his loud tools and physicality, and he’s capable of going deep to any part of any park, with a 60-grade power tool on MLB Pipeline’s scouting report. For Matias to apply that strong right-handed power at higher levels, he will need to make consistent contact, something he’s struggled to do since signing with the Royals -- the 22-year-old has struck out at a 38.4 percent clip in full-season ball and 36.4 percent of the time across four seasons.

Monday was a showcase of what Matias can do when he fixes his approach enough to let the power play.

“That ball might still be -- you know what, we’ll get that tomorrow,” Cleveland manager Terry Francona said.