Former Frederick Friday Feature — Matt Achilles
A tall, skinny right-hander, last week’s Former Frederick Friday player Matt Achilles spent two fairly successful years in the Keys’ starting rotation in 1999 and 2000.
A 23rd round pick of the Orioles in the 1995 MLB draft out of Black Hawk Junior College in Moline, Ill., Achilles arrived in Frederick after a year in Delmarva and two seasons of rookie ball. He made 15 starts and one appearance out of the bullpen for the Keys in 1999, going 5-8 with a 4.31 ERA and striking out 77 batters in 94 innings. His wins and strikeouts nearly doubled the next season as a 23-year-old, when he finished 8-11 with a 3.42 ERA and tied for the team lead in strikeouts with 137 in 150 innings.
Achilles moved on to the Cubs’ farm system in 2001 and reached their double-A club, the West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx, where he spent the entire 2002 season, his last in the minors. Over his seven-year career, Achilles went 46-50 with a 3.69 ERA, starting 119 of the 169 games in which he pitched. Over his 778 innings pitched, he struck out 612 batters and walked 314.
His best minor league season was probably his last with the Keys, the second of three times he would win eight games in his career. A complete listing of Achilles’ stats are here and his 1998 Delmarva baseball card is selling for $2.50 on Amazon.
This is the 2nd annual Former Frederick Friday contest. Throughout the offseason, a picture of a former Key is posted on our Facebook page on Fridays. The first person to correctly guess who the former Key is will have his or her name placed the running for a Keys Luxury Suite during a game in 2013. We are currently in our 15th week of the contest. Congratulations to Hannah Brook for correctly guessing Achilles on Friday.