Sioux City, IA (February 11th, 2022) — The Sioux City Explorers have announced the signing of RHP Matteo Bocchi a 2022 American Association Contract.
Bocchi will be entering his sixth season of professional baseball and his first with the Sioux City Explorers.
Born in Parma, Italy, Bocchi got his first taste of professional baseball at just nineteen years old pitching in the Italian Baseball League. Over three different seasons, 2016, 2017 and 2020 the right hander was a part of Unipol Bologna. Over those three seasons he appeared in 16 games, starting in 10 and recording an 8-2 record with a 3.42 ERA.
Bocchi’s first trip to the United States came in 2008 as a part of Italian baseball history playing in the Little League World Series. That team was the country’s first to qualify for Williamsport.
The 6’4, 25 year old began his collegiate career in 2016 pitching for Odessa College in Texas. After two seasons he transferred a few hours east to Austin and pitched the following two years with the Texas Longhorns. There he became the first Italian born student-athlete to play baseball at UT.
In 38 games for the Longhorns he went 6-3 with a 2.78 ERA in 71.1 innings and retired 58 batters via the strikeout.
Bocchi graduated from Texas and was signed by the Chicago Cubs organization as a free agent in 2019. He has spent two seasons with the Cubs in 2019 and 2021. He has bounced between four different levels of the Cubs farm system reaching as high as Triple-A for a single game.
Throughout his two campaigns with the Cubs he logged 94.2 innings over 37 games, 7 starts, going 4-3 with a 3.90 ERA striking out 109 batters while issuing 37 walks.
2022 will be Bocchi’s first experience in independent baseball.
With the addition of RHP Matteo Bocchi the Explorers have now signed four players (3 pitchers, 1 position player) to a 2022 contract.
RHP Matteo Bocchi
RHP Carlos Sierra
RHP Jonah Smith
OF Sebastian Zawada