Former student drafted, pitches for Miami

Featured Image: Monteverde pitches the baseball from the pitcher’s mount at Division I school Texas Tech University. Patrick Monteverde|Courtesy

Patrick Monteverde was drafted by the Miami Marlins, as the 239th pick, in the eighth round of the MLB 2021 draft. A former Virginia Wesleyan baseball pitcher, Monteverde played for the Virginia Wesleyan Marlins in the 2017 season. 

Monteverde led VWU in just about all pitching statistics during the 2017 season. He threw the most strikeouts on the team (60) and accumulated the best record for a starting pitcher (7-2). On top of that, he recorded a very impressive 1.96 ERA in his 82.2 innings on the mound, which was the most innings by a pitcher that season. 

Shortly after his season at Virginia Wesleyan, Monteverde made the decision to transfer to Seton Hill, a Division II baseball program in Greensburg, Pa. He spent the next three seasons at Seton Hill, where he started 17 games and accumulated 108 strikeouts. Monteverde graduated in 2020 and transferred to Texas Tech University, where he played during the 2021 playoffs. 

Monteverde is the youngest kid from a massive family. Fascinatingly, Monteverde is the youngest of 27 grandchildren on his dad’s side and the youngest of 18 grandchildren on his mom’s side. Both of Monteverde’s parents are the youngest of twelve. 

According to Monteverde, this elevated his game. “Being the youngest in the family and just having that mentality of the youngest in the family is always the most hard headed,” Monteverde said. “I was always, always around competition.” 

Monteverde was absolutely thrilled to be drafted by the Miami Marlins. Of course, through hard work and perseverance, he made this dream a reality. 

Monteverde attributes much of his success to his parents and baseball coaches along the way. His determination to baseball moved mountains as he always had a reliable relationship with his mom and dad. Monteverde comes from a massive family and is always grateful for their help.

“Getting drafted, I had dreamt about that moment since I was a little kid and just to be able to be surrounded by my loved ones when it actually happens … My mom, dad, my best friend’s cousin, his wife, another one of my cousins so just having them there was unbelievable. We had a draft party afterwards with a lot of friends and more family too. That was a day I’ll never forget, it was surreal, and I am extremely blessed to be able to be drafted. Also just to be surrounded by friends and family that helped me get to this point where I am today,” Monteverde said.

Regarding the Miami Marlins organization, Monteverde praised his team for having quality leadership. Baseball fans may be familiar with Miami Marlins second baseman, Jazz Chisholm Jr., who according to Monteverde has been a real pleasure to meet along with countless other players within the Miami organization. 

“If I can have one conversation with somebody it would be Jazz. I’ve met Jazz and talked for quite some time. He came down to meet the new draft guys last year. I kind of got to pick his brain a little bit, just about the big leagues and minor league life. How to get through his advice, I’d say that conversation has stuck with me the most thus far. But in the clubhouse I say there’s obviously the whole pitching staff here,” Monteverde said. 

“Don’t let one game derail your confidence, don’t change who you are and keep your head up.” Patrick Monteverde

Monteverde represents Texas Tech, Seton Hill and VWU baseball, which seems a daunting challenge in itself. However, Monteverde has made the most of his opportunity. Wearing a Marlins jersey representing Virginia Wesleyan is a tremendous accomplishment, but wearing a Marlins jersey representing Miami is a height almost no baseball players get to reach. 

As you might imagine, this experience has been surreal for Monteverde. Luckily for him, he’s had great pitching mentors to guide him even before the majors. The bullpen is absolutely loaded with talent according to Patrick. 

“Sean Reynolds is a good one, he just started pitching. Justin Evans, M.D. Johnson, and Jackson Rose. It’s hard to pinpoint one, it really is, just because this whole pitching staff we have here. We’re kind of just one big group,” Monteverde said. 

Monteverde got to reflect on his time at VWU and share positive experiences on and off the field from his year here. He attributes his baseball career today to his experience at VWU and holds onto the memories as they come instead of living in the past.  

“On the field, I remember the last time I was in the ODAC tournament against Randolph-Macon and they were 20th in the country and we were unranked. We were like a four or five seed in the tournament. We ended up going CG, a complete game on Randolph-Macon. That put a stamp on my time there… Off the field however, I’d say going every Sunday to Chic’s Beach. We would go there and there were like 100 of us, mainly athletes. But yes, that was so much fun,” Monteverde said. 

Monteverde has even gone back to visit VWU on two separate occasions. Last time he visited was summer of 2019. The occasion arose because he had Tommy John surgery that spring. He got the opportunity to go down to VWU and visit some guys and see Coach Chris Francis. The two are still pretty close and talk somewhat regularly. With an upcoming offseason, Monteverde plans on making another trip to the VWU area.

Coach Francis held an extreme amount of trust in his young pitcher Monteverde as a 19-year-old freshman; it’s quite rare to see that in college baseball. The trust Coach Francis gave to Monteverde has sparked a connection. 

“I loved playing for Coach Francis. As a 19-year-old freshman pitcher, he put me at the front end of the rotation. He had extreme trust in me. Not a lot of coaches at any level will give them a stressful 19-year-old to help the pitching staff. Props to him, I couldn’t thank him enough for trusting me. His exuded confidence in me really propelled my career and really helped me become who I am and where I am today,” Monteverde said. 

Monteverde also voiced encouragement to the VWU community. “Just keep going …. Sports are about failures …. At the end of the day when we’re however old we are when we are not playing this game. You’re going to look back at the days you played sports and you’re going to realize the true meaning behind it, which is how you deal with failure. The better you can deal with failures, the better at life you’ll be. So don’t let one game derail your confidence, don’t change who you are, and keep your head up. Lastly, prepare yourself better than anybody else,” Monteverde said.

Patrick Monteverde|Courtesy

By Josh Heller