5/5/22 : Minor League Spotlight - Matt Seelinger
In between writing the minor league roundups, extended spring reports and weekly and monthly standouts I thought I’d intersperse a few player spotlights 😎 - perhaps some fellas you haven’t heard much about.
Starting the series with a right handed relief pitcher currently with the AA level Reading ball club Matt Seelinger.
Seelinger is 27 years old and was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 28th round of the 2017 draft out of Division Three Farmingdale State College in East Farmingdale, New York. He became the first player ever drafted from the school’s baseball program. Matt pitched in the Pirates system till 8/6/18 when he was traded to the Tampa Rays for infielder Adeiny Hechavarria. On 5/20/19 was traded once again - this time to the San Francisco Giants as the player to be named later in the Rays acquisition of Catcher Erik Kratz ( now a Phillies radio analyst ).
He reached the AA level in the Giants system in 2021 appearing in 36 games ( 41 IP ) for Richmond in the Eastern League posting a respectable 3.07 ERA with 64 K’s and 31 walks - all as a reliever. On 5/13/21 he was one of four pitchers for Richmond to be part of the franchise’s first ever nine inning no-hitter. It came against Harrisburg and Seelinger came on in relief to record the final out of the 8th inning. Over four seasons with the Pirates, Rays and Giants organizations he appeared in 122 games - all as a reliever accumulating 166 2/3 IP and posting a 3.62 ERA with 244 strikeouts and 76 walks.
The Phillies selected him in the minor league Rule 5 draft on 12/8/21.
This year thus far he’s appeared in 8 games with Reading, one as an opener, accumulating 12 1/3 innings and has recorded a 1.46 ERA with 18 strikeouts and 6 walks - a WHIP of 1.38.
Matt features a fastball and hard breaking curve that he refers to as a “knuckle drop”. His fastball generally is in the low to mid nineties range and he primarily relies on those two pitches however will occasionally throw a changeup and has worked on developing a cutter that he’ll flash as well.
Matt Seelinger delivers a “knuckle-drop” - notice the grip - photo by George Youngs Jr
He didn’t allow a run in his first six games with the Fightin’s and has only been scored upon once in his eight appearances to date. The “knuckle drop” is a swing and miss pitch and has a big downward tumble.
Hopefully the success continues for Matt and his selection in the Rule 5 draft by the Phillies proves to be a fortuitous one with him advancing up the ladder.
photo by George Youngs Jr
Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️