Matthew Liberatore

Position: LHSP
Level: Instructs
Affiliate: Rays Instructs
League: Instructional League
Born: 11/06/1999 (Age: 19)
Height: 6'5''
Weight: 200
B/T: Left / Left
Acquired: 1st Rd. (#16 overall), 2018 MLB First-Year Player Draft (TAM)

Prospect Spotlight

After being selected with the 16th overall pick this past June, Liberatore pitched 27.2 dominant innings in the GCL before making two starts with Princeton in the Appy League. I saw the lefty in a quick instructs look, where he flashed four pitches and showed impressive polish and poise.

Liberatore fills the zone with a free-and-easy delivery that will grow into command in time. The fastball worked between 91-to-94 mph, showing lively hop and above-average movement when he was able to throw downhill. His body and mechanics ooze projection, and there’s more velocity coming as he gets stronger. His signature curveball was as good as always, showing sharp 2-to-7 shape and two-plane depth in the mid-70s. Liberatore threw a handful of changeups at 84-to-85 mph, selling the pitch with fastball armspeed and flashing above-average circle action at times. He wrinkled a true slider at 82-to-83 mph with distinctly different velo and movement than his curveball. It’s impressive to see a pitcher his age know how to use four pitches, and Liberatore kept his deep arsenal around the plate.

The Rays will likely be cautious with Liberatore, though his mix of present stuff and polish could earn him a full-season assignment to begin next season. His ceiling is sky high, a potential mid-rotation lefty who can miss bats and eat innings.