Well, I have my first full professional season under my belt.  This time last year I was coming off a lackluster collegiate season and struggling to get guys out in Billings.  What a difference a year makes!

Going into spring training I had three major goals of the season.  Although in my pre-season interview with Bill I said I did not mind coming out of the bullpen, to be honest, I definitely prefer starting.  My first goal of the season was to earn a job back in the starting rotation, the second was to break camp with a team, and the final goal was to earn a promotion during the season.

This off-season I really focused on improving the depth and consistency of my curveball.  By the time spring training rolled around, my curveball (which is more of a slurve due to my natural arm angle) had definitely become a reliable go-to pitch.  Although I was a little disappointed to get knocked off the Sarasota roster with three or four days left of spring training, I was definitely pleased to break camp on time with a great group of guys heading for Dayton.

I will never forget the four months I was privileged to have spent in Dayton.  It is no surprise that it is much easier to play when you feel settled and you cannot be more settled in than pitching 35 minutes from home, in front of your family and 8,500 (or more) energetic fans, at one of the best minor league venues in the game.  Pitching in Dayton was a very fun and exciting experience, night after night.  Earning a promotion to Sarasota was definitely bittersweet.

Another comment I made to Bill in our interview was that by the end of the season I will know if I should continue to pursue my career in professional baseball or not.  The answer was definitely made clear throughout this season.  I feel I have learned so much this season about my individual approach to the game and what works for the way I pitch, but also what it is going to take to continue to move up in the ranks.  I made it through the season healthy and with an ERA under 4.00, but the most important reflection to make about this season was what an absolute blast I had playing with some great guys under some great coaches.

3 Responses

  1. Bill

    And Matt, we appreciate the time and effort you’ve spent in keeping updated on your progress also. Thanks a lot.

  2. Jared

    Seems like a great kid and I’m glad things are working out so well. I meant to go see him pitch when the Dragons were in Cedar Rapids but I was busy pumping out my basement. And I just checked and it looks like he didn’t pitch here anyway.

  3. nycredsfan

    Well said, Matt, and congrats on the great season! I’ll be following you as you move your way up through the organization. Enjoy your offseason.