Meet the Fish: Steven Moretto
Steven Moretto comes to the Welland Jackfish with an impressive background.
The 24-year-old infielder played five years at NCAA Division 1 Sacramento State as well as stints with the Rochester Honkers of the Northwoods League and the Falmouth Commodores of the highly regarded Cape Cod Baseball League. As well, Moretto served as a pitcher while representing Canada at the Little League World Series in 2012, an experience he shared with minor baseball teammate and current Jackfish infielder Matteo Porcellato.
An impressive resume to be sure, one the 24-year-old infielder would love to add to.
“With me being hurt in the middle of the season last year, I don’t feel my baseball story has written that final chapter yet,” Moretto said. “One of the reasons I came here was because Ess (manager Brian Essery) said we’re looking to move guys on to the Frontier League, to the next level, and ultimately that’s what I’m trying to do.”
For now, the Vancouver native is more than happy to suit up for the Jackfish.
“I’m trying to play well here and not so much get here and take off as fast as I can, but get my feet wet, play well and get comfortable playing again after surgeries, and then see where this thing can take me,” he said.
In five seasons at Sacramento State, Moretto hit 30 home runs with 150 RBIs in 849 at-bats. He had 85 extra-base hits and compiled a .325 on-base percentage and .418 slugging percentage. In 2021, he led the conference with 22 doubles and led the team with eight home runs.
But last year he suffered knee and shoulder injuries which required surgery and was looking for a place to play at a high level while reestablishing himself.
Enter Porcellato, a life long friend who convinced Moretto the Jackfish would be a perfect fit.
“We’ve been best friends pretty much since we’ve been born,” Moretto said. “I was close to Matteo and I saw the success he had last year and I was able to get a good rundown from the league from him. That gave me a positive outlook on the league and I knew I would be facing good competition.
“I was definitely interested in continuing my post-secondary baseball career.”
A few weeks into the season, Moretto is convinced he made the right choice.
“Extremely glad,” he said. “The guys here are awesome, the coaching staff is awesome, we have a really good group of guys. It’s a lot of fun to show up to the park with these guys and play ball.”
Moretto can play third, first and has also been used as a designated hitter.
“Steve is going to get his opportunities all over the diamond,” Essery said. “He can play all over the infield. Big kid with a great bat and we’re expecting big things from him.”
Moretto had interest from some professional teams while in college but COVID stalled his development and he ended up playing at extra season at the NCAA level.
“I didn’t have the greatest COVID year and the following year (2021) I had a good season but my problem in college was I struck out too much,” he said. “Last year I made a conscious effort to limit my swing and miss and I cut my strikeouts in half. I have the tools to play baseball it’s just cutting down the swing and miss and cutting down the strikeouts.”
At 24, Moretto knows the clock is ticking, but isn’t ready to throw in the towel just yet.
“Who knows? For some people the lightbulb turns on at a later age compared to other guys,” he said.
Moretto has already forayed into coaching and said he would be interested in doing that at a high level post playing career.