Q&A with Cincinnati Commit RHP Matt Perego (Parkway West, 2017)



Shon Plack
Missouri Scouting Director

Matt Perego (Parkway West, 2017) is a 6-foot-7 255-pound right-handed pitcher and is committed to Cincinnati next season.

Perego has a big frame and a tall-and-fall delivery.  He fastball touches 86 mph, working 82-84 with occasional cutting action.  He has a 10-to-4 breaking ball with late action at 74-76 mph.  Change up maintains arm speed and has arm side run at 76-79 mph.

Last season, Perego was 5-2 for the Longhorns, collecting 34 strikeouts in 44 innings of work.  Here is a look inside how Perego landed at Cincinnati.

PBR: What were your expectations about the recruiting process? Was it as expected? Easy/Difficult?

Perego: When I first started the recruiting process, I was very nervous and didn’t really know what to expect. As time went along, however, I grew more and more comfortable talking with coaches, and the process became easier for me.

PBR: Did location or distance from home play a factor in your decision?

Perego: Yes it did. It is far enough away from home that I can experience something new, but close enough to home so I can come back easily.

PBR: Where did Cincinnati first see you? How did your relationship develop with them?

Perego: The first time UC saw me was at their camp, which the coach invited me to after looking at some video I had sent.  After I had sent them the video, I was constantly in contact with Coach Neal and an assistant named John Lackaff.  Both coaches would check on me throughout my junior spring season and the following summer. At the end of the summer, I attended one of Cincinnati’s camp where I pitched pretty well, and I received an offer later that day!

PBR: Who is the best player you have faced in your state, and why?

Perego: In St. Louis, there is a lot of premier pitching. I have played against RHP Jackson Rutledge (Arkansas), LHP Dennis Yingling (Missouri State), RHP Ty Buckner (Missouri State), RHP Jake Hausmann (Missouri State), and LHP Max Hunter (Dartmouth). All these pitchers have exceptional stuff.

PBR: What advice would you give to young baseball players striving to get where you are?

Perego: I would tell young baseball players to work hard in the classroom and in the weight room. Academics must become a priority if you want to play a collegiate sport. Also, when contacting a coach you must be persistent, and don’t lock in on one particular school, try to keep your potions open. 

PBR: What do you do in the offseason to keep yourself in baseball shape and prepare for the upcoming season?

Perego: I train with Brian Delunas to work on becoming the best pitcher I can be and to be game ready once the season comes around.  I also work with Josh Kessel in the weight room to get stronger and get in better shape for the season.

PBR: What is the most memorable moment in your baseball career to this point?

Perego: My most memorable moment in my baseball career is being able to play the game I love everyday. Some people are not able to do what they love, and I can say that I can which is very humbling to me.

PBR: What do you like most about Cincinnati and what were the key factors in making your decision?

Perego: The program overall was just appealing to me; the facilities and the coaching staff are great. What I liked best is the way Coach Neal runs the program. Again, he made it clear that UC is going in the right direction and I truly believe that.  I know we will be a big name baseball school in the upcoming years.

PBR: What other schools were on your short list before you made your final decision?

Perego: Creighton, Kansas, Illinois State, and Eastern Illinois.

PBR: When did the recruiting process really start to heat up for you? Was there a particular game or event that you feel turned the corner for you?

Perego: The recruiting process started heating up for me in the late winter in my junior year when I started going to a few showcases. That was when I finally became a true pitcher. I learned that in order to be a successful pitcher you need to get outs any way you can and not focus on velocity or strikeout totals. Also, one of the most important things as a pitcher is to put your team in the position to win as many games as possible.

PBR: Preview your high school season for us. How do you feel your team will be? What are your expectations and goals?

Perego: I feel like our team (Parkway West) is going to make a big run this year. We finally have a group of guys who believe in one another and believe that we can make a statement this year. Our expectations this year are to pitch to contact and play good defense, so that we can compete to win every game. Our main goal this year is to win the district championship.

PBR: Where do you play in the summer? And what has been your most memorable experience with them?

Perego: In the summer, I play with the Rawlings Tigers. I love being able to play the game that I love with some of my best friends. I have experienced some of my favorite memories traveling across the nation with my team.

 

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