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liberatore, st louis cardinals

Player: Liberatore, Matthew

Card: 2020 Topps Heritage #50

Position: LHP

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Matthew Joseph Liberatore (born November 6, 1999 in Peoria, AZ) is a pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals of Major League Baseball (MLB). He was selected by the Tampa Bay Rays as the 16th overall pick of the 2018 amateur draft out of a high school in Glendale, AZ.

His name was already known in baseball circles, as he had been a member of the United States junior national team at the 2017 U-18 Baseball World Cup in Thunder Bay, ON. He had allowed one hit and fanned 12 in a six-inning win over Mexico, shortened by rain. He then started against South Korea in the Gold Medal Game and allowed four hits in another six shutout innings before Mitchell Wilson, Mason Denaburg and J.T. Ginn completed the shutout for a US title.

Matt dropped a commitment to attend the University of Arizona in order to sign with the Rays and split his first season between the GCL Rays and Princeton Rays, two Rookie-class teams. Combined, he was 2-2, 1.38 in 9 starts. In 2019, Liberatore graduated to the Bowling Green Hot Rods in the Midwest League, where he was 6-2, 3.10 in 16 games. In 78 1/3 innings, he struck out 76 opponents.

On January 9, 2020, Liberatore was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals along with another prospect, C Edgardo Rodriguez, in return for major leaguers Jose Martinez and Randy Arozarena. The two teams also swapped picks in the Compensation Rounds of the 2020 amateur draft.

He started 2022 with Memphis and was 3-3, 3.83 after 7 starts when he was called up to St. Louis on May 19th alongside teammate Nolan Gorman (who got his first MLB HR on the day Matt got his first MLB win). The two had known each other since they were 5 and had been best friends growing up, so it was fitting that they were hitting the Show together, as they were respectively considered the top pitching and hitting prospects in the system.

Liberatore was the starting pitcher making his MLB debut against the Pittsburgh Pirates on May 21st, filling in a spot left open by a doubleheader earlier in the week. He pitched 4 2/3 innings, giving up 4 runs on 7 hits, walking 2 and striking out 3, and was not involved in the decision as the Cards won the game, 5-4. He did better in his second start, against the Milwaukee Brewers on May 28th, pitching 5 scoreless innings and leaving with an 8-0 lead. The Brewers managed to score a few late runs after he left, but he was still credited with his first major league win, 8-3.

(excerpted from Baseball Almanac, BR Bullpen & Wikipedia)


2020 Bowman Chrome Top 100 Prospects #BTP-19
2023 Topps 1988 #T88-95
2023 Bowman #48
matt liberatore, st louis cardinals
Image fromredbirdrants.com
(Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire from CBSSports)


Matt Liberatore is part of the St. Louis Cardinals Players Tour – Go to the Next Stop

See Matt’s baseball cards at TCDB

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