From BR Bullpen
Matthew Steven Ceriani
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 2", Weight 220 lb.
Ceriani started his professional career with the 1998 Evansville Otters, hitting .203 in 23 games. That still earned him a look from a MLB club as he was signed by the Milwaukee Brewers. Sent to the Helena Brewers, he batted .226/.346/.311 in 45 contests that year.
In 1999, Matt returned to Helena and hit .302/.374/.389. His .984 fielding percentage led all catchers in the Pioneer League, but he lost out All-Star honors at catcher to J.D. Closser, who had even better offensive production. During 2000, Ceriani batted .260/.327/.367 in 48 games for the Mudville Nine; he was their most-used backstop. He was 0 for 16 with a walk for the Huntsville Stars that season in his AA debut.
Ceriani split 2001 between the Beloit Snappers (.266/.337/.342 in 22 G) and the High Desert Mavericks (.190/.227/.262 in 25 G). Matt spent most of 2002 with the independent Solano Steelheads (.290, .427 SLG) and briefly was with the Arizona Diamondbacks affiliate El Paso Diablos (1 for 7, 2 BB).
Ceriani was just 5 for 34 with 11 K for El Paso in 2003 and spent most of the year with the Alexandria Aces (.294, .446 SLG). He also briefly played for Parma in Italy, hitting a meek .139/.154/.194. In 2004, he hit .247/.317/.357 for the Kansas City T-Bones followed by .250/.319/.333 in 2005.
In the 2006 World Baseball Classic, Ceriani represented Italy; he played one game and did not bat. He was 2 for 9 with two walks and two doubles for Nettuno in Italy in 2006. He was back in the USA in 2007, hitting .215/.302/.260 for the Sussex Skyhawks.
Matt played for Italy in the 2007 European Championship, going 1 for 7 as the backup catcher to Vincent Parisi. Ceriani allowed 4 steals in 5 tries. In 2008, he batted .288/.373/.403 with the Chico Outlaws.