Yankee Signee

Former Jammer Minnick Inks Contract After Being Drafted In 23rd Round

Pitching for the Jamestown Jammers in the summer of 2015, Matt Minnick delivers to the plate during a Prospect League game at Diethrick Park. P-J file photo

All over the world little leaguers and kids playing in the local sandlot dream of someday becoming a New York Yankee — arguably the greatest franchise in all of sports.

That dream is especially true for kids from New York, and former Jamestown Jammer Matt Minnick. The Mercyhurst University pitcher and Collins native was drafted in the 23rd round of the Major League Baseball draft by the Yankees earlier this month.

Minnick, who played for the Jammers during the summer of 2015, has spent the last four years pitching at Mercyhurst, going 7-2 with a 2.88 ERA, striking out 116 batters in just 68.2 innings this past season.

Minnick, who went to St. Francis High School, says being drafted by the Yankees is “a dream come true,” as he grew up watching guys like Derek Jeter and CC Sabathia.

Now, someday, he may have the opportunity to don those same pinstripes as the guys he grew up watching.

Matt Minnick is pictured signing his contract with the New York Yankees on Wednesday, June 12. Minnick, a Collins native, was drafted in the 23rd round of the Major League Baseball Draft. Submitted photo

Minnick and his mother, Maureen, found out he was drafted during the middle of a game he was playing in, on the third day of the Division II College World Series. Mercyhurst ended up being ousted by the University of Tampa, the eventual champions.

After being drafted, Minnick was required to have a physical at the Yankees facility in Tampa and then signed shortly afterwards.

Minnick was relatively confident he was going to get drafted, but the ultimate questions were: who and where, as several teams had reached out to him beforehand.

By the day of the draft, Minnick said he had it narrowed down to six or seven teams that were interested in him, including the Yankees. He won’t know which minor league team he will be reporting to, but now that he’s signed, he’s just ready to take the mound.

The former Jammer originally faced some adversity going to a D2 school like Mercyhurst. People told him his “opportunities were limited by not going D1,” but Minnick learned some valuable lessons at his school. His biggest takeaway was to not take anything for granted.

“It’s a blue-collar school that lets you go in and go about your business,” Minnick says, and he learned not to take any of that for granted.

Minnick has had to work hard his whole life. Coming from an area with a population of about 6,500 people, and going to a D2 college, it can be hard to get your name out there. On top of that, having to work his way back from two seasons shortened by injury in 2017 and 2018 made the road for the Laker all the more difficult to overcome. But Minnick’s hard work has taken a huge step toward paying off. Now he just needs to keep throwing.