Former Aggies take talents to next level
Assistant Managing Editor
For three former Cameron baseball players, the summer was a bit brighter as they saw their move to bigger diamonds.
Shortstop Cody McElroy and pitchers Drew Reidt and Tobin Mateychick made way for greener grasses after they picked up professional contracts following their spring semester with the Black and Gold.
McElroy played in the Atlanta Braves’ organization after the team picked him up in the 19th round of the June draft. For the shortstop, the pickup was the first step toward fulfilling his dream.
“It was an awesome moment,” McElroy said. “It’s something I have been working for and wanted to happen for my entire life, so it’s great for it to finally become a reality.”
While he did not get a call for the draft, Reidt signed as an undrafted free agent to play in the Gulf Coast League with an affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. He said that the workout for scouts sparked a blur of a week, which ended with him under contract.
“It all happened pretty quick,” Reidt said. “It was pretty awesome. It was surreal.”
For Reidt, a Missouri native, the contract has special meaning.
“Being from St. Louis and getting a chance to play for the Cardinals organization – it’s crazy,” he said. “I was really excited for sure and wanting to make the most of the opportunity.”
While Reidt and McElroy played in the minors, Mateychick pitched his season out of the bullpen with the Grand Prairie Air Hogs of the American Association. Much like Reidt, Mateychick’s pickup came quickly after working out for the team.
“I got down there to throw in the bullpen, and next thing I know they’re signing me,” Mateychick said. “They didn’t even want me to hit, throw or do anything else … As soon as I was done, the skip walked up to me and said they’d sign me after that night’s game.”
That bullpen session garnered a lot of attention, but the manager’s decision to sign Mateychick still surprised him.
“I didn’t see it coming, so it kind of caught me off guard,” he said. “But it was a pretty cool feeling.”
All three players have finished their seasons with their respective teams and are working on various things in the off season to build off their success in their rookie years.
McElroy, who transferred to CU from Texas, credited his year with the Black and Gold for much of the success he had in his first pro season.
“Cameron was awesome,” he said. “I was only there for a year, but it was a lot of fun. I got to learn with the coaches, got a lot better. It was really what I needed. I wouldn’t trade the memories or the experience there for anything.”
McElroy also thanked all the coaches, students and fans at Cameron for supporting him and making his season as an Aggie an even better experience.
Reidt credited Cameron for helping him work on those things he needed to polish in his style of pitching.
“Between Cameron and my junior college, it all taught me how to fill up the strike zone,” he said. “I don’t throw very hard. I rely a lot on location and off-speed pitches. My years in college really helped me refine those tools.”
For Wichita State transfer Mateychick, the year he spent with the Aggies helped him find the love of the game again.
“I left [Wichita State] on my own and didn’t know what I was getting myself into with a school that was not as well known for a history of baseball,” Mateychick said. “But the opportunity they gave me to play everyday instead of just being a pitcher only like I was at Wichita State before really made me find the love of baseball again, and that’s what kind of pushed me to play at the next level.”
Brady Huston, head coach of Aggie Baseball, credited the players’ work ethic for their success on greener grasses. He said that, if they keep that work ethic, their diamonds will shine even brighter.
“Maybe they’re doing extra work and maybe that’s why they’re having success,” Huston said. “But they’ve got to continue that day in, day out. If they do those things and there’s some luck involved, I think we can see them playing one day.”
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