Matt Conte has molded himself into a MLB draft prospect more than 18 months before he's draft-eligible in the summer of 2024. A Wake Forest commit, the Dexter Southfield catcher has even been encouraged by some MLB scouts to reclassify -- and graduate a year earlier -- so that he can be eligible for the 2023 MLB Draft.
In 2020, Conte caught the attention of collegiate coaches during PBR showcases while playing for the NEB Rays (Harvard, Mass.). He got his first look from Wake Forest during a Top Prospect event in Connecticut. The Deamon Deacons coaching staff watched Conte play via live stream and continued to follow up with him as the summer progressed.
After making a visit to the Winston-Salem, N.C., campus, Conte made his commitment to Wake Forest in May of 2021. Wake Forest's history of turning New England natives into MLB prospects was a major factor in Conte's decision.
"I really connected to Wake Forest because a lot of Northeast players do well there,'' said Conte. "Chris Lanzilli (Dexter Southfield) and Ryan Cusack (Avon Old Farms) are both Northeast guys who attended Wake Forest and developed so much. Another thing that sold me on the school was the coaches. They stayed in great contact with me and treated me like family.''