In June this season the Indians dipped into Independent League ball and signed Paddy Matera away from the Camden Riversharks. It was a move that worked out well for both Matera and the Tribe.
At the time, Matera, 25, was hitting .297 with 6 HR and 20 XBH. Cleveland assigned him to High-A Carolina and he went on to hit .282 with a .415 OBP. .834 OPS, 4 HR with 39 walks to 54 K’s in 241 at bats. Good numbers, though at his age anything less would have been a disappointment. If he continues to put up these numbers with Akron, it is easy to see him ending the season with AAA Columbus or even getting some big league playing time in 2014.
I wrote to him right after he signed, but after a couple of months I gave up on ever getting anything. Then, last week, got this return. He even included one of his cards from the Riversharks. I was pretty happy, especially this time of year when my mailbox is mostly bills and junkmail.
He is a great story, and I will be rooting for him in 2014.