Matthew Liberatore was born in Peoria, Arizona on November 6, 1999. Liberatore attended Mountain Ridge High School in Glendale where he grew into one of the best baseball players in the 2018 MLB Draft.
In that draft, the Tampa Bay Rays selected the left handed pitcher 16th overall in the first round. He then signed with the Rays for a $3.5 million signing bonus. After the draft, Liberatore was assigned to the Gulf Coast Rays in the Gulf Coast League where he dominated. In 8 starts, he had an excellent 0.98 ERA, with a 10.4 K/9. Liberatore then got moved up to the Appalachian League where he pitched 1 game for the Princeton Rays. In the 5 innings he pitched for Princeton, he ended with a 3.60 ERA, while striking out 5 and got the win. That game was the final one of his 2018 season.
2019 saw Liberatore start the year in extended Spring Training before joining Bowling Green (A) in the Midwest League. Liberatore played the entire season there where he started 15 games. He finished the 2019 season with a 6-2 record, 3.10 ERA, striking out 76, and walking 31 in 78.1 innings.
On January 9, 2020, Liberatore, along with Edgardo Rodriguez and a Competitive Balance Round B pick were traded to the St. Louis Cardinals for Jose Martinez, Randy Arozarena, and a Competitive Balance Round A pick. This was a big pickup for the Cardinals. The Cardinals have a lot of depth in the outfield and traded some of it away for a highly touted arm.
Nobody in the Cardinals organization was more excited about the addition of Liberatore, than his childhood friend Nolan Gorman. Gorman and Liberatore have been friends since a young age when they both started getting involved with baseball. Once they grew older and draft talk started to pick up towards the two, they often talked about what it would be like to play in the MLB, and it eventually grew into what it would be like if they played together. The dream is on its way to becoming true for them both and unless there’s a trade, I can definitely see them playing together for the St. Louis Cardinals together in the future.
Matthew Liberatore, Soul Stealing Curveball. pic.twitter.com/oO5PfbaBWn
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) February 24, 2020
As far as what Matthew Liberatore brings to the table, he stands 6’5″ tall, weighing 200 lbs. He has a pitcher arsenal of a fastball reaching 95-96 at times, with good movement and sink, and a changeup that is at times elusive because of his nearly perfect arm repetition. He also throws an excellent 12-6 curveball, and has been working on his slider over the last few seasons. With the huge potential of 4 solid pitches, Liberatore is certain to become a front end starter for the Cardinals in the near future.