Minor League baseball player and former Mets pitching prospect Matt Pobereyko died suddenly of a heart attack on Friday. He was just 31 years of age at the time of his passing.
The right-hander played college baseball at Kentucky Wesleyan College before beginning his pro career in 2016. He spent time with the Diamondbacks, Marlins, and Mets, reaching as high as the Triple-A level in 2018. He was still pursuing a career in baseball when he collapsed suddenly in his apartment on Friday.
Pobereyko was discovered by his girlfriend, according to NBC News. He had been living in Warrenville, a suburb of Chicago, during the offseason of the Mexican Pacific Winter League.
His team, Saraperos de Saltillo, issued a statement on Saturday claiming that the pitcher died of a heart attack.
However, a spokesperson for the DuPage County Coroner’s Office said the death was “still pending investigation.” Early reporting has indicated that it could take nearly eight weeks for a formal cause of death to be determined.
Warrenville Police Chief Sam Bonilla said in a statement, “There were no suspicious circumstances to report, and an autopsy conducted the following day did not reveal anything further.”
Matt Pobereyko showed no signs of major health concerns, according to his family. His brother Daniel told NBC News, “He just dropped, and that’s all we know. We don’t know. There’s nothing outstanding on the autopsy. But from what I understand, he would have gotten a clean bill of health if he had a pulse.”
“For what we know now, there’s really no leads,” Daniel Pobereyko, the pitcher’s brother, said. “They saw him earlier in the week, and he seemed to be perfectly fine.”
Much like his family, former teammates, and friends were also stunned by the news. Almost as soon as the story went public an outpouring of emotions began to emerge on social media. With a player as well-traveled as Matt Pobereyko, it’s easy to see that the list of those in mourning was extremely long.
The Pensacola Blue Wahoos mourned his passing writing on Twitter, “The Blue Wahoos join the baseball community in mourning the passing of Matt Pobereyko. A member of our 2021 team, Matt was beloved on and off the field. Our prayers and love are with his family, friends, and teammates.”
The pitcher had last played earlier this month in the Caribbean World Series in Venezuela.
He had dreams of making into Major League Baseball or even into Asia. His brother relayed, “He had his eyes on the Asian markets, because he had thrown really well in Mexico. So he was hoping for that at the very least. He still had really good stuff, and he was going to pitch as long as he did.”
A native of Hammond, Indiana, Pobereyko pitched for Kentucky Wesleyan from 2013-2015. He shuffled around in the minor, independent, and international leagues during his career.