07/19/2023 7:23 PM
Article By: Brian Butler
Cole Mathis is an incredibly rare breed in the Cape Cod Baseball League: a true two-way player. Mathis has excelled both on the mound and at the plate for the Kettleers this summer, carrying on a strong collegiate performance that earned him Second Team All-American honors from the NCBWA, as well as All-CAA Second Team Honors.
Mathis followed up his breakout sophomore season by joining the Cotuit Kettleers, where he carried on his two-way prowess. He knows that preparation and routine are incredibly crucial to juggling his complicated role.
“I guess there’s a different mental grind to it. Getting enough rest and getting loosened up, depending on when I get to the ballfield. Just knowing what my role is that day," Mathis said of his preparation for the two-way role.
The Cotuit infielder/right-hander has demonstrated incredible flexibility between the two roles he fills this summer. In two of his six pitching appearances so far this summer, Mathis had been playing the field before transitioning to the rubber, pitching a combined six innings in those outings without allowing an earned run. He also earned a win and a save, respectively, in those two appearances. Mathis realizes he needs to be ready to make the switch from the field to the mound at a moment’s notice.
“[Coach Roberts] usually gives me a heads up before the game just so I know what the plan is. I don’t really know when but whenever he tells me to go down to the bullpen, I tend to just lock in and get ready to pitch.”
Mathis has been elite on both ends of the game this summer. His six home runs and 24 RBI both lead the West Division, ranking second in the league as a whole. He’s also doubled five times and scored 16 runs of his own. He’s been equally impressive on the rubber, posting a 3.17 ERA across 17.0 innings of work. Mathis has also struck out 17 batters while walking just three. While the two-way standout has been equally impressive in the box and on the bump, he does not have a true preference between the two sides.
“I don’t really have a favorite. I just like playing baseball, and whatever my role is that day, I just make the most out of it and enjoy it while I’m out there.”
Mathis’s love for the game is incredibly evident in his play style. His massive home runs are often accompanied by his trademark subtle bat drop, not enough to be ostentatious, but enough to let everyone know he got all of one. He has easy and fluid mechanics on the mound, pairing a strong fastball with a hammer of a curve and change that leave batters incredibly flustered.
Following a sophomore campaign at the College of Charleston where he flourished, posting a 1.014 OPS alongside a 3.40 ERA, Cole Mathis has somehow improved both of those already impressive numbers for the Kettleers, posting a 1.032 OPS with his 3.17 ERA. Mathis will be starting the All-Star Game for the West Division at first base, and there’s a possibility he could make an appearance on the mound as well. He hopes to carry on with the two-way play as long as possible, but, more than anything, he just wants to keep playing baseball.
“I mean, it’d be cool to do both as long as I could. But, if I can't, I'll make the most of it whichever route I end up in.”
Cole Mathis’s standout showing in Cotuit this summer has cemented him as a true dual-threat on the diamond. As a member of the ‘24 MLB Draft class, Mathis will certainly be an intriguing prospect to follow as his career continues to develop. One thing will always be true about Mathis however: he loves to play baseball, whether it’s on the mound or at the plate.