He can hit, that’s how.
Four years ago I first saw JP Sportman step on a baseball field at Central Connecticut State University. All I knew then was that he had a major league name. Today he takes a step closer to realizing that dream by playing in the New York-Penn League All-Star Game.
After being drafted in the 27th round in the 2014 MLB First Year Player Draft by the Oakland Athletics, Sportman tore through the Arizona Rookie League (.321/.414/.393) earning a promotion to the Vermont Lake Monsters after just 22 games.
Going 0 for his first 11 in the NYPL, Sportman collected his first hit on July 26 and hasn’t stopped hitting since. Since that game he has gone 0-fer in just three games boasting a .367 batting average as of the All-Star Break with a high-water mark of .408/.427/.605 on August 11.
On July 29, he hit his first professional home run. The very next night he hit another and to this date, Sportman has three professional home runs.
There are some scouts and writers I have followed on Twitter who tweet about the surprise A’s late round pick. This was the most telling tweet I have seen thus far.
@Oak_AllDay Sportman isn’t like a true power hitter, but a lot of loud contact. Definitely some doubles, 10+ HR potential.
— Nathaniel Stoltz (@stoltz_baseball) August 9, 2014
From July 27-August 2, Sportman raised his slash line from .250/.296/.375 to .356/.400/.556 to earn the NYPL Player of the Week award and warranted this response from the Northeast Conference’s Director of Communications, Ralph Ventre.
Tonight, JP Sportman will suit up for the North Division in the All-Star Game in Brooklyn at 7:30 p.m., an honor he truly deserves. If you want to see what JP’s friends are tweeting about him, follow #SportmanTracker on Twitter…okay, maybe it’s just me tweeting about him.
By the way, JP Sportman has the highest batting average in the entire Oakland Athletics organization with at least 200 plate appearances.
JP Sportman shall be eligible to participate in the NYPL ASG tonight. Quite deserving
— Chris Kusiolek (@Oak_AllDay) August 19, 2014