Matt Donlan has continued the impressive line of UConn catchers over the past five-plus years, becoming the third straight Husky starting catcher to head to the professional ranks. On Tuesday, Donlan signed a free agent deal with Boston upon the conclusion of the 2022 MLB Draft.
Zac Susi, who held the starting job between 2016 and 2018, and Pat Winkel, the team’s backstop in 2019-2021, were picked in the 12th round and ninth round, respectively.
The Red Sox can sign him to a bonus of up to $125,000 before it counts against their bonus pool.
A transfer from Division II Stonehill, the redshirt junior made the most of his one season in Storrs. He was named the Most Outstanding Player in the College Park Regional, with a pair of clutch home runs against No. 15 Maryland, one in the winner’s bracket game and one in the winner-take-all final. Overall, he had 12 RBI in the postseason.
Donlan also showed tremendous durability, catching each of the final 38 games of the season, missing just five games all year. He had a slash line of .260/.375/.489 and was tied for the team lead with 12 home runs, while also driving in 60 runs.
With a strong arm, he caught 22 baserunners stealing and also had five successful pickoff attempts.
It’s unclear whether Donlan will be able to stick behind the plate as a pro, which would greatly reduce the pressure on his bat, but his strong arm and 6-foot-3, 215-pound frame should help as he moves on to professional baseball.
He will join Jacob Wallace and Matt Barnes, both pitchers, in the Red Sox organization.