TEXAS CITY — Hard work has taken Texas City alum Matt Plitt’s baseball career from Galveston County to a top-ranked college program to now an organization in Major League Baseball.
“That’s just one example of what hard work can do,” Plitt’s former coach at Texas City Mike Schwager said. “I can remember when he was a freshman and how much he improved, not only from his freshman to his sophomore year, but every year by putting so much work in the offseason.”
Plitt’s work ethic earned him a selection in the 37th round of the 2014 MLB First Year Player Draft with the 1,117th pick overall by the Tampa Bay Rays.
“That’s what any kid needs to understand, that if they want to go to the next level, college or professional, they need to do more than what’s expected. And that’s something (Plitt) always did,” Schwager said.
A 6-foot-4, 220-pound right-handed pitcher, Plitt emerged as the go-to closer for the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, the nation’s No. 1-ranked team before falling to Mississippi in the Super Regional round of the College World Series.
Plitt graduated Texas City in 2010 and was the Stings’ ace that season with a 7-1 record and 1.84 ERA in 11 starts. Plitt was named All-County Pitcher of the Year.
Following high school, Plitt played two seasons at Galveston College where he found a niche as a relief pitcher before transferring to the highly-touted Ragin’ Cajuns baseball program for the final two years of his collegiate career.
This season, Plitt was 2-0 with a 3.67 ERA and five saves in 25 appearances. He threw 54 innings, allowing 39 hits with 40 strikeouts. All but one of his appearances were out of the bullpen.
“It’s just a joy as a coach to see your kids achieve so much, succeed and have the opportunity to play professional baseball,” Schwager said.
Schwager said he still keeps in touch with Plitt, offering him encouragement and coaching tips, and continuing to receive feedback from his former player.
“It’s a pleasure to see that kind of feedback from the kids and they don’t ignore it,” Schwager said. “They remember where they’re from and they remember how they got to where they’re at.”
Plitt was the fourth prospect with Galveston County ties to be selected in this year’s draft. Galveston College right-handed relief pitcher Gabe Klobosits was another late-round selection, going to the Boston Red Sox with the 764th overall selection in the 25th round.
A physically imposing figure at 6-foot-7 and 270 pounds, Klobosits put up impressive numbers for the Whitecaps in 16 relief appearances. Klobosits, a native of Katy and graduate of Pope John XXIII High School, was 6-0 with a 1.65 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 271⁄3 innings pitched.
Two Clear Creek alumni were taken in the draft’s earlier rounds.
Right-handed pitcher Jake Cosart, younger brother of Houston Astros starting pitcher Jarred Cosart, was picked by the Red Sox at 103rd overall in the third round. Cosart was a 2012 Clear Creek graduate who began playing college baseball at Duke University before transferring to Seminole State College in Sanford, Fla. In 13 appearances and 11 starts, Jake Cosart posted a 5-3 record and 5.34 ERA in 64 innings with 67 strikeouts.
Another right-handed pitcher and 2012 graduate of Clear Creek, Tanner Griggs, was picked 349th overall in the 12th round of the draft. Griggs pitched for Angelina College in Lufkin following his high school career. He started seven games, going 2-4 with a 5.45 ERA in 33 innings with 25 strikeouts.