Former Pitt pitcher Matt Pidich was selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the eighth round of the 2018 MLB draft last week, and on Tuesday, Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com revealed that the one-time Panthers ace had officially signed with the organization, earning a $10,000 signing bonus.
And some money-savers for @Reds: 5th-rd Ryan Campbell, 8th rd Matt Pidich, 9th rd Andrew McDonald each get $10K. 10th rd A.J. Moore gets $5K. Sets team up for signing J India (1st), B Spillane (3rd) and 4th rd M Siani (sure to be over value)— Jonathan Mayo (@JonathanMayo) June 12, 2018
Pitt head coach Joe Jordano saw two commits and five players from his 2018 roster selected in the draft. Unlike the other six selections, little mystery surrounded Pidich’s decision, as he was the only senior in the group of draftees, and in addition to that, he was taken relatively early.
Over four seasons with the Panthers, Pidich experienced a number of ups and downs before settling into a leadership role as the Pitt pitching staff’s ace in 2018. After a single bad outing in his freshman season, he was benched until 2015 and pitched to a 1.72 ERA over 15.2 innings. However, his progress was stalled by an injury and subsequent Tommy John surgery in 2016.
Pidich returned to an expanded role in 2017, though he had some kinks to work out, as he compiled a 4.61 ERA. He was able to lower that to a solid 3.05 over 91.1 innings in his senior season, and he more than doubled his previous strikeout total of 73, adding 99 in 2018.
The pitcher’s final start in a Pitt uniform came against Georgia Tech in the ACC tournament on May 22, and he rose to the occasion, allowing just three hits and one run over seven innings of work. He also racked up eight strikeouts and helped keep the Panthers alive for a close 2-1 win.
Provided the Reds send Pidich to their Pioneer League affiliate in Billings, Montana, as expected, his minor league career will get underway Friday, when the team kicks off its season.