07/20/2017 4:34 PM -
Whiting, Ind. - Between the years of 2013 and 2014, Matt Pobereyko stifled Midwest Collegiate League hitters with his outstanding work on the mound for the Northwest Indiana Oilmen. Pobereyko during his two-year stint with the Oilmen posted an ERA of 1.38 in 39 innings pitched, issuing 18 walks and striking out 60.
Former Oilmen Manager Justin Huisman and Pobereyko decided before the 2013 season that he would pitch out of the bullpen in late game situations.
“That was my first-time relief pitching, when I was in college at South Suburban and Kentucky Wesleyan I was a starter,” Pobereyko said.
This choice would pay off for Pobereyko as he set the Oilmen saves record in a career with 18, with 13 of those coming in 2014 (also an Oilmen record).
After his playing days with NWI, Pobereyko spent 2015 alongside Adam Enright as an assistant coach.
Now, two years later Pobereyko is punching out hitters at a higher level, the professional level. Pobereyko currently pitches for the Columbia Fireflies, the class A affiliate of the New York Mets’ organization.
Pobereyko’s time with the Fireflies is just beginning but this is not his first time in the Minor Leagues. Pobereyko was signed in 2016 out of the Frontier League to the Arizona Diamondbacks organization, but after just one-half season with a combined ERA in the minors (3 teams) of 4.33 he was released.
“Getting released was tough, I didn’t personally think that I deserved that, my numbers were decent coming off that half season with Arizona,” Pobereyko said. “It was tough but getting back to the Frontier League, it was either that or hanging it up. I wasn’t going to find another affiliated job during the offseason, I really enjoyed my time in Florence, the manager there Dennis Pelfrey is awesome and so was the pitching coach Bryan White. I had a lot of my buddies from the previous year return there and it was kind of a no brainer to come back.”
In his second time around with Florence, Matt showed why Arizona wanted him in the first place. Pobereyko pitched 18 innings, scattering eight hits and striking out 38 and owning a 1.00 ERA while picking up 10 saves for the Freedom.
These numbers got the attention of the New York Mets, who on June 21, 2017 (just 281 days after he was released by the Diamondbacks organization) signed Pobereyko to a minor league deal.
Now pitching for the single-A Columbia Fireflies, Matt has a WHIP of 0.97, an ERA of 2.92 while racking up 22 strikeouts in 12.1 innings.
“I’m not closing like I was in the Frontier League, I’m just throwing innings here and there,” Pobereyko said. “Whether it be in a tie game in the eighth inning, or down or up a couple in the fifth. In the minor leagues, there is less structure to things in regard to your role. Everything is becoming more regular.”
Pobereyko's main goal is to one day pitch in the MLB, but he understands that it is going to take hard work and perseverance.