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Road to the Show: Matt Clement's MLB journey was a winding one

July 10, 2020 Digital Media Exclusive

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Matt Clement proudly displays his 2005 All-Star Game jersey and other memorabilia from that night. He represented the Red Sox in the game.

He was 18 years old, a 6-foot-3 point guard on the Butler High School basketball team.

He received college basketball interest from Lafayette, Duquesne, Pitt and Bucknell. He was getting college baseball looks from James Madison, William & Mary, Hofstra, Seton Hall and others.

He was considered a pitching prospect who would go early in Major League Baseball's amateur draft.

Matt Clement only had one problem.

“I had no idea what I wanted to do,” he said.

Because everything happened so fast.

Clement was a 5-9 point guard as a 1990-91 high school sophomore “and was a sixth-man and sometimes starter as a junior,” he said.

“I blossomed physically and talent-wise my senior year, and the colleges were on me.”

The summer leading into his senior year, Clement attended a Joe Wladyka Scouting Service workout as a third baseman. He was asked to pitch a little, and his fastball hit 84 miles per hour.

“Matt only pitched 18 innings his senior year,” said Paul Clement, Matt's father. “He wasn't the best pitcher on the team. And with the basketball playoffs and Roundball Classic, he wasn't around much for the start of baseball season.”

Still, he had a live arm. And when the scouting service sent his video out to schools, he received some interest.

Clement's “breakthrough” moment on the mound occurred in a non-section game at Franklin Regional High School.

This is an excerpt from a larger article that appears in Sunday's Butler Eagle. Subscribe online or in print to read the ful article.

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