In many respects, Mets pitching prospect Matthew Bowman is not unlike the hundreds of other young pitchers that have passed under the tutelage of current Sand Gnats pitching coach Frank Viola. Although undoubtedly promising, Bowman, the Mets 11th-round pick out of Princeton University last season, nevertheless lacks the tantalizing repertoire or highly heralded prospect status of say, Matt Harvey or Zack Wheeler. The 21-year-old eats as much Chipotle as his meager budget will allow, and suffers no delusions about the daunting odds of a college product in the South Atlantic League making the big leagues. While his unorthodox delivery, slight frame, and dark-haired, boyish looks bear an uncanny resemblance to Tim Lincecum, the reality is that such superficial surface similarities are just about where any realistic comparison between the two pitchers ends.
Yet, there is something about Bowman that strikes a chord with Viola. “Let me tell you, this is my third year back in professional baseball,” he says. “After my career was over, I coached ten years of high school, three years of summer collegiate, and three years of professional. And he’s [Bowman] the first pitcher after all that time, who wanted me to