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USPBL pitcher Kevin Matthews signs pro contract with Braves

It was announced less than a week ago from the United Shore Professional Baseball League that Birmingham-Bloomfield Beavers corner infielder Alex Maloney had agreed to a pro contract with the Chicago White Sox. On Thursday, a Beavers teammate of Maloney’s followed in his footsteps.

Kevin Matthews, 24, is a left-handed pitcher for the Beavers who made his USPBL debut this season, and has been superb all season. In five starts (25.0 total innings), Matthews is 2-1 with a 1.80 ERA, striking out at least seven batters in each of his five starts; 43 total punch-outs.

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Matthews was a first-round draft pick (No. 33 overall) of the Texas Rangers back in 2011, out of Richmond Hill High School (GA). He spent four seasons in their farm system from 2011-15 (missed ’13 season), compiling a career 4.56 ERA in 50 games (25 starts).

Matthews, Beavers skipper Chris Newell and USPBL founder/commissioner Andy Appleby all offered these thoughts on the signing:

“I am very grateful for everything everyone has done for me while playing in the USPBL. Because of the USPBL, I get a second chance with an affiliate organization (Atlanta Braves) and for that I will be forever grateful,” said Matthews.

Beavers Manager, Chris Newell, commented, “I had a conversation after watching him throw and I said, ‘You’re not leaving here without a contract!’ He’s a remarkable young man, and what I love about him is that he’s probably the best teammate this league has ever had.”

We are so thrilled that Kevin is able to pursue his passion for baseball with a Major League Organization,” said Andy Appleby, Commissioner and Founder of the USPBL, “Our goal is to give these players an opportunity to improve their game in order to reach that level. We wish Kevin the best of luck in Atlanta!”

Matthews becomes the 15th player overall to have been signed by a major league club since the USPBL began play a season ago. You can click here to view the complete list of USPBL graduates.

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Written by Alex Muller

MSU Graduate. Just a city boy born and raised in south Detroit. Baseball is life, a pitcher at heart. Freelance writer for MIPrepZone (News-Herald, Press & Guide).

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