In this weeks Highway to High Point, we meet starting pitcher Joe Van Meter and follow his journey to BB&T Point.
Van Meter was born October 19th, 1988 in Manhasset, New York. He attended St. Dominic High School before attending Virginia Commonwealth University in 2008.
Throughout his early career, Van Meter played in the infield at various positions, even leading his team in batting average his final year with a .434. He finished his collegiate career with an average of .366.
Many VCU fans were shocked to learn that the power hitting infielder was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 2010 MLB draft as a pitcher. Despite his offensive stats, Van Meter consistently threw the ball around 90 mph and had pitched previously for the Rams, earning a 5.47 ERA, 19 strikeouts, one win and a save.
Van Meter joined the Arizona Summer League following the draft and quickly adjusted to life as a pitcher posting a 2.79 ERA and 11 strikeouts in his first nine innings of play.
He was then called up to the Rangers’ minor league affiliate the Hickory Crawdads. During their 2010 playoff push, Van Meter was called upon to close two innings and kept a clean sheet in both.
In his first full season for the Crawdads, he made 29 appearances as a relief pitcher. He finished with a 5-2 record, 2.98 ERA and 38 strikeouts. His performance in the Arizona Summer League and as a relief pitcher in Hickory earned him a starting position for the Crawdads the following season.
Van Meter joined the Myrtle Beach Pelicans in March of 2012 and stayed with the team until July of the same year. In 25 games for the Pelicans, he had four wins and five losses with a 2.06 ERA.
The Tampa Bay Rays signed Van Meter in August of 2013. After spending three months playing for the Montgomery Biscuits, he elected for free agency.
In March of 2014, the Baltimore Orioles signed him to a minor league contract to play with their affiliate the Frederick Keys. Van Meter played with the Keys and the Aberdeen Ironbirds for the remainder of 2014 before getting released on June 30th.
Since his release from the Keys in 2014, Van Meter has been playing for a variety of independent ball clubs including the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs and York Revolution where he became a fan favorite. Since singing with the Rockers in 2019, Van Meter has posted a 2.71 ERA with five wins and three losses and currently holds the franchise record of eleven strikeouts in a single game by a starting pitcher. Van Meter was selected as an Atlantic League All-Star for the 2019 season.
To see Joe and the rest of your High Point Rockers play at home, call (336)888-1000 for tickets or visit www.highpointrockers.com.