Top Tampa Bay pitching prospect and Mountain Ridge alum Matthew Liberatore was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday. It’s a huge move for the Redbirds to acquire the top left-handed pitching prospect in 2018’s MLB Draft.
That said: The Cardinals traded from an area of extreme depth in their outfield and got someone in Liberatore regarded as one of the best pitching prospects in the game. Gives them tons of options. This can't be seen as anything but a win for them, too.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 10, 2020
It now means Liberatore gets to be reunited in the Cardinals’ system with his best friend.
“Libby” and Nolan Gorman, who attended Sandra Day O’Connor High School, grew up together and played together at just about every level together, whether it be for Team USA, in little league or at high school showcases. In the 2018 MLB Draft, the Tampa Bay Rays drafted Liberatore with the 16th overall pick and Gorman was taking by the Cardinals three picks later.
Now, they will sit atop the St. Louis’ farm system.
The 6’5″, 200-pound southpaw threw 78.1 innings in 2019, striking out 76 batters and posting a 3.10 ERA in for Single-A Bowling Green. Gorman, regarded as one of the best power hitters in minor league baseball, hit 32 home runs over the last two seasons and tabbed 106 runs batted in.