With the 16th pick in the 2018 MLB Draft, the Tampa Bay Rays have selected Matthew Liberatore, a left-handed pitcher from Moutain Ridge High School in Glendale, Arizona.
Liberatore has four great pitches; a fastball which sits mid-nineties, a really nice wipeout slider, and a changeup and curveball. Like some of the other high school prospects taken above him, Liberatore has also played on the international circuit with Team USA, where he dominated.
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There hasn’t been a stop on Liberatore’s baseball journey where he hasn’t dominated. Liberatore was second on MLB Network’s big board coming into the draft, so the fact that he fell to 16 is amazing for the executives of the Tampa Bay Rays.
Like any high-schooler, projecting Liberatore’s inevitable fall in dominance is a risk, but it;s unclear as to why someone as esteemed as Liberatore fell to 16. Liberatore will almost certainly slot in as the Rays’ 6th best prospect and could possibly crack the top-100.