Matthew Lewis Packer
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 6' 0", Weight 200 lb.
- School University of Virginia
- High School Christian Brothers High School
Starting pitcher Matt Packer pitched in the Cleveland Indians farm system until 2014.
Packer was 14-0 with a 0.48 ERA and 180 K in 87 IP as a high school senior and also hit .496 with 27 doubles, 10 homers and 71 RBI. He set school records in average, doubles, homers, wins and strikeouts. He was named All-American by the American Baseball Coaches Association and Louisville Slugger. He was 3-3 with a 4.22 ERA as a college freshman. He was superb as a sophomore at 6-3, 1.14 with two saves and a WHIP under 1. He led NCAA Division I in ERA, .29 better than #2 Christian Friedrich, and tied for 6th in Division I in wins. Despite leading Division I in ERA, he failed to make All-Atlantic Coast Conference as Jimmy Gillheeney was picked as the top reliever (he had a 1.13 ERA but did not qualify for the national ERA title). Matt fell to 3-5 with 3 saves and a 4.13 ERA as a junior. He tied for third in the ACC with 32 games pitched. Virginia went to the 2009 College World Series.
He was drafted by Cleveland in the 32nd round of the 2009 amateur draft, one round before Chris Kersten (the scout was Bob Mayer). He began his professional career that season, posting a 2.38 ERA with one save in 5 appearances for the Mahoning Valley Scrappers and striking out 13 while walking one in 11 1/3 IP. Splitting 2010 between the Lake County Captains (8-5 W-L, 1.60 ERA, 95 2/3 IP) and Akron Aeros (1-2 W-L, 3.16 ERA, 37 IP), Packer was 9-7 with a 2.04 ERA in 30 games (18 starts) overall. He had 123 K to 22 BB. He was 5th in the Indians chain in whiffs, between Paolo Espino and Alex White. More importantly, he was second in the affiliated minors in ERA, behind only Brandon Beachy's 1.73.
He was 9-12 with a 4.31 ERA in 27 starts for Akron in 2011 with 33 walks in 169 1/3 IP. Among Indians farmhands, he tied Michael Goodnight and T.J. House for losses and allowed the most hits (175, 20 ahead of runner-up Zach McAllister), led in innings but was also third in strikeouts (129, behind Corey Kluber and Austin Adams). In the Eastern League, he ranked was second in losses (one behind J.C. Ramirez), led in innings pitched, third in hits allowed (trailing Bobby Lanigan and Shaeffer Hall), tied for second in runs allowed (91, even with Brock Huntzinger, two behind Lanigan), was second in earned runs (81, 4 behind Huntzinger) and tied Brad Peacock for 7th in whiffs.
In 2012, he was 4-5 with a 3.70 ERA in 14 starts split between the AZL Indians (3 R in 4 2/3 IP), Carolina Mudcats (1-0, 0 R in 8 IP), Akron Aeros (2-1, 2.41 in 3 G) and Triple-A Columbus Clippers (1-4, 5.50 in 6 G), missing time with a left rotator cuff strain. He was 0-1 with a 4.05 ERA for the Scottsdale Scorpions of the Arizona Fall League.
He was with Akron again in 2013 and went 12-9 with a 3.27 ERA in 28 games (25 starts). He was third in the EL in ERA (behind Nate Karns and Mike Wright), tied for first in wins (with Jack Snodgrass and Logan Verrett), second in hits allowed (172, behind Marcus Walden) and was 4th in innings (154, between Chris Gloor and Trevor May). In the Indians chain, he was first in wins (two over Brett Brach), third in ERA (after Cody Anderson and Caleb Hamrick) and tied for fifth in strikeouts (with Toru Murata). He did not make the EL All-Star team as Snodgrass was picked as the lefty starter. He began 2014 in the Indians system, but after struggling (8.68 ERA in 2 starts), he was released and latched on in the independent leagues. He was 6-2 with a 2.48 ERA in 15 starts between two indy teams. In 2015, with the Lancaster Barnstormers, he was 3-5 with a 4.82 ERA in 11 starts.
Overall, Packer was 44-42 with a 3.42 ERA in 140 games, including the fall league.