Matthew Bates Merullo
- Bats Left, Throws Right
- Height 6' 2", Weight 200 lb.
- School University of North Carolina
- High School Fairfield College Preparatory School
- Debut April 12, 1989
- Final Game September 29, 1995
- Born August 4, 1965 in Winchester, MA USA
Matt Merullo had a six-year career in the major leagues, primarily as a catcher. His grandfather, Lennie "Boots" Merullo, had played in the majors, and his father Len Merullo, Jr. had played in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, after appearing in the 1958 Hearst Sandlot Classic. In 2014, his son, Nicholas Merullo, played in the Baltimore Orioles chain.
Merullo, born in Massachusetts, was a member of the 1983 USA High School Team. He attended the University of North Carolina, played in the 1985 Intercontinental Cup competition, and was drafted in the 7th round in 1986 by the Chicago White Sox.
Matt impressed with the Peninsula White Sox in the Single A Carolina League with a batting line of .303/~.365/.423 in his first pro season in 1986. The next year, 1987, was spent with the Daytona Beach Admirals and Birmingham Barons, hitting over .260 in both places. His 1988 and 1989 seasons were also spent primarily with Birmingham - in 1989 he posted a line of .294/~.381/.420 before coming up to the Triple A Vancouver Canadians for three games, and then up to the majors. With the White Sox, he appeared in 31 games, hitting .222 with 1 homer.
Back at Birmingham in 1990, he had another good year, at .291/~.354/.429. In 1991, he was at Birmingham for only 8 games, while spending 80 at the major league level, where he put up numbers of .229/.268/.343 with the White Sox. He appeared in few games in 1992, with 14 in Vancouver, and 24 for the White Sox. From 1990 to 1992, he was the White Sox # 3 catcher in terms of appearances, behind Carlton Fisk and Ron Karkovice.
In March of 1994, he was traded to the Cleveland Indians organization. He spent most of the season with the Charlotte Knights at the age of 29, hitting .300/~.344/.463, and came up for 4 games with the Indians.
In 1995, his last major league year, he spent the entire season with the Minnesota Twins, with whom he had signed as a free agent, appearing in 76 games and hitting .282/.335/.379. It was his highest batting average. He was the backup catcher for the Twins behind Matt Walbeck. In spite of having a good season with the bat, he did not return to the majors after that season.
Lifetime, in the majors, he appeared in 223 games, with 496 at-bats. He had 7 home runs, 59 RBI, and a .234 batting average.
During Matt's professional career, he had to deal with one knee and three elbow operations.
He founded, and currently runs, Pro Advantage Baseball in Connecticut. He also served as an area scout for the Arizona Diamondbacks in New England, signing Evan Scribner, Michael Belfiore and Matthew Torra. He became a manager in 2013-2014 with the Aberdeen IronBirds.
Rick Peterson is a close friend.
One of his proudest moments was going 2 for 2 with a couple of RBIs while facing Roger Clemens.
Year-By-Year Minor League Managerial Record
|2013||Aberdeen IronBirds||New York-Penn League||40-32||4th||Baltimore Orioles||Lost in 1st Round|
|2014||Aberdeen IronBirds||New York-Penn League||27-48||14th||Baltimore Orioles|
|2015||GCL Orioles||Gulf Coast League||34-25||5th (t)||Baltimore Orioles|