Mets Sign Australian Catcher, Patrick Maat

Central Coast's Patrick Maat, a power hitting catcher, was signed by the Mets during this years U18 Australian Championships in Geelong.

Used with permission from BJS Player Management in Australia, the following is a press release.

"It has always been a dream of mine to play in the USA at any level, and to have more than one professional team chasing my signature was mind blowing! To even think that the New York Mets had me on their short list in the first place is awesome! I know I can repay them for their belief in me!"

The Tuggerah Lakes Secondary College Yr12 student was one of the outstanding players at the National U18 Championships held in Geelong recently and attracted the attention of Mets Scout Tony Harris who has recently moved from the LA Dodgers to the Mets as the Australian and Asian scout.

Like most recent Australian pro signings Pat started his baseball days in T Ball when he was 7yrs old playing for the Mingara Rebels Baseball Club on the Central Coast along with his sister. He has continued with Mingara every summer season since and has also played winter baseball over the same period. His year round dedication to the game paid off in a big way in Geelong. He has suffered the problems of most country players - having to spend many hours travelling down to the "city" to get the sort of coaching that an elite athlete needs although he gained some sort of a respite when in 2002 he was invited to become a member of the inaugural year of the "Hunter Institute of Sport" under experienced baseball coaches Paul Fathers and Ian Hook who also coached him this year in the CNSW U18 team.

That experience at the Hunter Institute led him to an outstanding year in the CNSW U16 team in Sydney in 2003 culminating in his selection in the Australian team to play in the Oceania Qualifying tournament against New Zealand and the Solomon Islands. Again he had outstanding success and was voted the MVP of the tournament and sent to the MLBAAP Academy on the Gold Coast. However, nothing goes according to plan and to his great disappointment he was left out of the AA Australian team that played in Taiwan that year. Rather than get him down it made him even more determined to work harder and two years at the NSW Institute of Sport under Andre Desjardin got him back on track and into the CNSW U18 teams and futher stints at the MLBAAP Academy.

Those years at NSWIS and his own determination to work alone on the Central Coast were to make a huge difference to Pat's physical and mental make-up. " It was great to see Pat rewarded for his efforts" said Andre from his office at Blacktown. "He brings plenty of power and intelligence to the Mets. Pat is the first NSWIS player to be signed by them and we hope he goes a long way."

The new Mets scout, Tony Harris, had plenty of opportunity to see him at the Academy and also organised with agent Trevor Jarrett to look at him again in Sydney just prior to Christmas. "We as an organisation are very excited to have Patrick as a New York Met" said Harris during last weeks Claxton Shield Championships.." He has shown real progress in his game over the past 18 mths and it is a credit to his hard work and dedication to realise his dream of becoming a professional ballplayer. A strong young man, solid defensive catcher with offensive power at the plate, together with his make up and work habits, will be fun to watch him develop his way thru the minor leagues."

His journey is on hold for a year as he finishes his yr12 studies. The Mets will send him back to the Academy in July of course - but his first spring training will not happen until 2006. Once there he will be hoping to work his way all the way up to the famous Shea Stadium in New York. He may have to wait a little longer for his first pro game but at least his dream of becoming a Big Leaguer has begun.

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