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Matt Wright

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Matthew Jared Wright

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 4", Weight 220 lb.

Minors.BR page

Matt Wright has spent 10 seasons in the minor leagues (through 2009), reaching AAA in 2006.

Wright was a 21st round pick of the Atlanta Braves in the 2000 amateur draft. That year, he was 0-2 with 4 saves and a 0.86 ERA in 12 games for the GCL Braves; in 21 innings, he allowed just 8 hits and struck out 30, though he walked 11. In 2001, Matt was 3-5 with a 3.72 ERA for the Danville Braves, striking out 89 in 72 2/3 innings. He tied Rick Ankiel for the most Appalachian League starts (14), tied Bryan Digby for the most wild pitches (13) and was second to Ankiel in strikeouts (69 behind the top prospect).

Wright recorded a 10-8, 3.18 record with 146 strikeouts in 152 2/3 innings for the 2002 Macon Braves. In 2003, the 21-year-old right-hander tied Blaine Boyer for the most wins in the Braves system (12); he was 10-2 with a 1.65 ERA for the Rome Braves (98 K, .187 opponent average in 82 IP) and 2-7 with a 6.38 ERA for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (.326 opponent average, 42 BB, 58 K in 60 2/3 IP). He was 4th in the affiliated minors in strikeouts per 9 innings (9.84), trailing Scott Kazmir, John Maine and Neal Cotts. Had he qualified, he would have led the South Atlantic League in ERA. Rome won the SAL title thanks in part to Wright's work.

Wright was better his second year with Myrtle Beach. His record was just 4-6 but he struck out 133 in 124 2/3 innings, allowing a .249 average and walking 58. He was second in the Carolina League in strikeouts (two behind Thomas Pauly) and ranked 6th in ERA. In 2005, Matt struggled with the Mississippi Braves (6-8, 1 Sv, 6.11) and had a brief rehab stint with the GCL Braves (1-1, 3.12).

In 2006, Wright solved AA, going 7-3 with a 2.22 ERA for Mississippi, but again ran into trouble after a promotion, with a 3-5, 5.77 record for the Richmond Braves.

A free agent, Wright signed with the Kansas City Royals. He spent 2007 with the Omaha Royals, where he was 10-5 with a 4.06 ERA. His strikeout total fell to 98 in 137 1/3 innings but his control was also getting sharper with 40 walks. He was 7th in the Pacific Coast League in ERA.

Wright joined Team USA for the fall. He pitched the first six innings of a shutout against defending Bronze Medalists Panama in the 2007 Baseball World Cup for a win. He also got the victory in the semifinals against the Dutch national team with six more scoreless frames, beating out David Bergman in a fine pitcher's duel. Wright finished the Cup with 10 strikeouts, tying Lee Gronkiewicz and Josh Outman for the team lead. He helped them win their first Gold Medal in a Baseball World Cup in over three decades.

Wright fell to 4-10, 5.47 with Omaha in 2008 and 1-5, 6.75 in 2009, getting worse each of his full years in AAA.

Matt signed with the KIA Tigers in early 2010, replacing the released Ricardo Rodríguez. He pitched five games and went 0-1 with a 5.00 ERA before a left hamstring strain earned him his release as well; Roman Colon replaced Wright.

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