Metro Minute

Four More Metro League Alumni drafted last week in MLB Amateur Draft

By Sophie Ozier

As the 2015 MLB Player Draft concluded, four additional Metro League Alums were taken in the MLB amateur draft.   Geoff Hartlieb, Orlando Oliveria, Matt Meier and Josh Lester all played for St. Louis Metro Collegiate teams during the 2013 season. Tate Matheny was selected on day one of the draft, so this brings the total to 5 in 2015.   “We fully expect a few more of our guys to sign as free agents, so all in all, we’re very pleased with the 2015 Draft class from Metro Collegiate Baseball,” said Marty Stein, League President.

The Detroit Tigers drafted infielder Josh Lester in the 13th round (400th overall) of the 2015 MLB Player Draft. However, this was not Lester’s first bid. Back in 2013, while playing for the Metro Collegiate Rebels, Lester was extended an offer during the 30th round from the Cleveland Indians. That season Lester hit .317 for the Rebels, driving in 11 runs in 16 games. After rejecting the offer from the Indians, Lester went on to Mizzou where he led the Tigers in home-runs (7), RBIs (42) and slugging (.436) during the 2015 season.

Matt Meier, a recent graduate of Lindenwood University, was picked up by the Colorado Rockies in the 30th round. The former Metro Collegiate Rebel is coming off his best season at Lindenwood, posting a 3.95 ERA and allowing six hits in 13.2 innings.

Opposing teams had a.136 batting average against the right-hander for the 2015 season. During his time in the Metro League, Meier had a 2.69 ERA while limiting opposing hitters to a .192 batting average.  When asked about his former players, Metro Collegiate Alum and Coach and now Head Coach at Murray State University, Kevin Moulder, said: “I’m not the least bit surprised these two were drafted. They both have solid skills and great work ethics. I’m very proud to have played a small part in their overall development and they were both a pleasure to manage.”

Geoff Hartlieb, teammate of Meier at Lindenwood, was also drafted. The pitcher was selected in the 37th round by the New York Mets. In Hartlieb’s tenure with the Lions, he has pitched in 27 games, completing 87.1 innings and getting 57 strikeouts. Harlieb maintained a 1.34 ERA during his 2013 stint with the Metro Collegiate Bandits, where he allowed just six earned runs in eight games. His Metro Collegiate Coach, Rick Fiala said: “Geoff was a key element of our 2013 squad. He knows how to pitch and has great stuff. I wish him the very best in his pro career.”

Orlando Oliveria was the last of the Metro League Alumni to be drafted, getting picked up by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 38th round. The left-fielder from Missouri Baptist led the Spartans with 20 home-runs, 66 RBIs, a .736 slugging percentage and hit .395 for the season. Oliveria is a .421 career hitter for the Spartans and has been selected to the National Association for Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) All-American 1st team the last two seasons. With the Metro Collegiate Saints, Oliveria hit .333 and led his team with 5 home-runs and 16 RBIs in 2013.

When we asked St. Louis Metro Collegiate Baseball League’s President, Marty Stein what he remembered about Orlando. Stein said: “What I remember most about Orlando was how the ball simply exploded off his bat. I was amazed at how quickly the baseball would leave the yard when Orlando connected with one. You could actually hear that very special sound of a wooden bat meeting the ball when Orlando was swinging it. There were times when he left no doubt, it was only a matter of how far out of the park it would fly.”   Stein added: “we are extremely proud of the five Metro Collegiate players that were drafted this year. I’m looking forward to watching their progress and wish them all great success as they embark on their professional careers.