Former MLB minor league pitcher Matt Pobereyko has died aged 31 after suffering a heart attack at his home in Chicago. According to NBC News, Pobereyko was found unresponsive by his girlfriend in their home in Wheaton, close to Chicago. He was pronounced dead after being taken to a hospital.
The Hammond, Ind., native was living in Warrenville, a western suburb of Chicago, during the offseason of the Mexican Pacific Winter League. His family described the former pitcher for the New York Mets, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Miami Marlins as being "absolutely healthy" in the wake of his shocking death. He last played as recently as this month in Mexico.
The DuPage County Coroner's Office said the death was "still pending investigation" and that it could take nearly eight weeks to determine a formal cause of death. Pobereyko's current team, Saraperos de Saltillo, said in a statement that the pitcher passed away from a heart attack on Saturday.
His brother, Daniel Pobereyko said that his parents, who had visited him earlier in the week, and the rest of the family were all shocked by his brother's passing.
"He just dropped and that's all we know," Daniel Pobereyko said. "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. They saw him earlier in the week and he seemed to be perfectly fine."
Pobereyko's death was first confirmed by his Mexican team, Saraperos de Saltillo, in a tweet they sent out on Saturday. They wrote: "We report the unfortunate news of the death of Matt Pobereyko, due to a heart attack that ended his life."
The pitcher's most recent appearance was at the Caribbean World Series in Venezuela earlier this month, and according to his family, he still had aspirations to play at a higher level after making an impression during his most recent outing.
"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."
Prior to moving through the minor levels, the Hammond, Indiana native played for Kentucky Wesleyan in college. In 2018, he reached as high as the Mets' triple-A affiliate in Las Vegas.
Pobereyko had previously played with Algodoneros de Guasave over the winter, leading the league with 73 strikeouts in just 70 1/3 innings.