Former Red Sox minor-league outfielder Tate Matheny announced his retirement from the game of baseball on Monday afternoon. He made the announcement through a heartfelt statement on Instagram.
The son of former major-league catcher and current Royals manager Mike Matheny, Tate was selected by the Sox in the fourth round of the 2015 amateur draft out of Missouri State University. After signing with Boston that summer, the St. Louis native made his pro debut for the Lowell Spinners of the New York-Penn League.
By the end of the 2019 season, Matheny had made it as far as the Triple-A level. The COVID-19 pandemic may have put Minor League Baseball on hold in 2020, but the right-handed hitter was able to work his way back into the fold in 2021.
Between Double-A Portland and Triple-A Worcester last year, Matheny batted .242/.323/.450 (107 wRC+) with 16 doubles, three triples, 10 home runs, 39 RBIs, 36 runs scored, nine stolen bases, 29 walks, and 92 strikeouts over 78 games (269 plate appearances) while seeing time at all three outfield positions. He perhaps most notably robbed Buffalo Bisons shortstop Kevin Smith of a home run when Chris Sale was making a rehab start for the WooSox at Polar Park in late July.
Matheny, who turned 28 earlier this month, became a minor-league free agent at the conclusion of the 2021 campaign. It took some time, but he ultimately decided to hang up the cleats after spending all seven years of his professional career with the Red Sox organization.
“I don’t know how to even start this post I just have so much to be thankful for,” Matheny wrote in part on Instagram earlier Monday. “This game has brought me so many gifts. The friends I’ve met, the lessons I’ve learned, have come from this game but it’s time to say goodbye.”
As for what he has planned next, Matheny wrote: ” I am nothing but grateful for what this game has given me! I can’t wait for the next chapter in our lives!”
For his minor-league career, which spanned 562 games and 2,239 plate appearances across five different levels, Matheny slashed .250/.311/.368 to go along with 502 total hits, 104 doubles, 19 triples, 32 homers, 243 RBIs, 285 runs scored, 87 stolen bases, 168 walks, and 604 strikeouts.
In terms of personal accolades, the 6-foot, 180 pounder was named the Red Sox’ Minor League Base Runner of the Year in 2017. He was also recognized by Baseball America as the top defensive outfielder in Boston’s farm system entering the 2018, 2019, and 2020 seasons.
While it is unclear what Matheny has in store for this next phase of his life, it should be interesting to see if he follows in his father’s footsteps by pursuing a career in coaching.
Regardless of that, we at Blogging the Red Sox wish Matheny and his family the best moving forward.
(Picture of Tate Matheny: Katie Morrison/MassLive)