Explorers Re-Sign Closer Matt Pobereyko
Sioux City, IA– The Sioux City Explorers today have announced the signing of RHP Matt Pobereyko. The 2020 season will be his fifth season of professional baseball and his second with the X’s.
During the 2019 season Pobereyko proved to be the anchor for what was yet again another great Explorers bullpen. The 28 year old paced the American Association with 47 appearances and collected the third most saves with a career high, 24, that also tied a Sioux City single season record. Pobereyko held down a 3.18 ERA over 51 innings allowing just 31 hits, and 14 walks, good for a WHIP of 0.882. Pobereyko set another career high with 74 strikeouts, good for a K/9 of 13.1. He was selected to the American Association South Division All-Star team.
Pobereyko on two separate occasions tossed multiple innings of relief for Sioux City. Both instances came in games that went into extra innings and both ended in Explorers victories. The first came on July 4th against the Milwaukee Milkmen where he went three innings allowing just a single hit, striking out three and picking up his lone win of the season. The other instance came on August 22nd against the Cleburne Railroaders, with the X’s in the thick of the playoff chase Pobereyko threw four innings of shut out, two hit baseball while fanning six batters.
Between July 19th and July 26th Pobereyko appeared in five out six games for the X’s and was the definition of the word dominant. Notching a save in all five games he faced the minimum, retiring 15 straight batters over five perfect innings striking out five during that span. It was also in the middle of an 11 game, 10.1 inning stretch in which he did not allow a run, and giving up only one hit and one walk in that time.
This winter Pobereyko pitched in the Dominican Winter League and put up his usual impressive numbers. He went 4-1 with a minuscule 1.67 ERA. Over 27 innings of work he has struck out 30 batters and has walked only 11 and his 29 appearances for Estrellas de Oriente led the club.
A native of Munster, Indiana where he played his high school baseball at Bishop Noll Institute. There he was a two time All-Conference selection for the Warriors while also being a member of the swim team. He then spent two seasons at South Suburban Junior College in South Holland, Illinois. His 2012 season was lost to injury after three appearances. His 2013 season saw him notch a 1-1 record with a miniscule 1.96 ERA in eight appearances with 18 strikeouts in 18.1 innings. Pobereyko then pitched collegiately at Kentucky Wesleyan College, which saw him shine as a senior. He went 9-2 with a 1.84 ERA in 12 games. He broke school records with 104 strikeouts during the season and 18 in one game.
Going undrafted after his senior season Pobereyko landed with the Florence Freedom of the Frontier League. It did not take long for an organization to notice him as he had dominating numbers. In just 20 games out of the bullpen he put together a 1.33 ERA with 31 strikeouts and just 10 walks in 20.1 innings. With stats like that the Arizona Diamondbacks purchased his contract from Florence. He spent the rest of the 2016 season bouncing between levels appearing in Rookie ball, Low-A and High-A. He appeared in 15 games total, pitching 27 innings, striking out 36 and an ERA of 4.33.
Despite the good numbers the Diamondbacks would not bring him back for the 2017 season. Pobereyko instead went back to a familiar place in Florence. It again did not take Pobereyko long to impress a major league organization. In fact He was even better during his second stint with Florence, racking up 10 saves with an ERA of just 1.00 in 17 games, 18 innings, while punching out 38 batters for a ridiculous K/9 of 19.0. This time it was the New York Mets that came calling for his services. He would finish the 2017 season with the Class A Columbia Fireflies. His first few days with Columbia he actually happened to share a dugout with former Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow. In 23 games for Columbia he had a 3.15 ERA in 34.1 innings striking out 53.
The New York Metropolitans kept Pobereyko to begin the 2018 season. He began on the opening day roster for the High-A ball St. Lucie Mets, there he appeared in 36 games, saving 10, with a 3.19 ERA and a 2-3 record in 48 innings on the mound. Pobereyko recorded 55 strikeouts during that time continuing his dominance of being able to make hitters whiff. He would get a promotion to AAA Syracuse and appear in one game before being sent to AA Binghamton for the final week of the season where he appeared in 5 games, tossing 5.2 shutout innings, and once again shared a clubhouse with Tebow.
RHP Matt Pobereyko
LHP Winston Lavendier
LHP Raudel Lazo
OF Sebastian Zawada
OF Ricky Ramirez Jr.
The Sioux City Explorers 28th season in Siouxland will begin on May 19th at the Kansas City T-Bones. The X’s open up their home schedule on May 26th against the Sioux Falls Canaries. Season tickets, flex tickets, group tickets and luxury suites are now for sale for all 50 Explorers home games for the 2020 season. Simply call (712) 277-WINS (9467) to order your ticket package today.
By Connor Ryan, Sioux City Explorers