What is Nick Neumann doing in the minors?

Nick Neumann's headshot from the Jamestown Jammers, the Class A - Short Season affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Nick Neumann’s headshot from the Jamestown Jammers, the Class A – Short Season affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

This isn’t going to become a theme where I just write about low level minor league baseball players that most people have never heard of, but I will occasionally write about the two who were drafted out of Central Connecticut State University this past year.

Yesterday I mentioned JP Sportman, the 27th round pick of the Oakland Athletics this year who played in the New York-Penn League All-Star Game last night and right now I will talk about his former college teammate, Nick Neumann.

Neumann was drafted in the 28th round of the 2014 draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates and was immediately assigned to the Jamestown Jammers of the NYPL. 

After getting Tommy John Surgery midway through his career at CCSU, Neumann became the Blue Devils frontline starter, which is also a reason I don’t think I ever got to see him pitch. Most of the games I went to in New Britain were during the week, when I wasn’t working (college students work on the weekends). 

I know you don’t care about what he did in college, so lets get right to where he is now.

The adjustment to professional pitching seemed a little bit rough for the Middletown, Conn. native.

In his first five appearances, he allowed 10 runs in 11 innings and his ERA blossomed to 8.18, but after that, he seemed to figure things out.

After July 4, Neumann has basically cut his ERA in half and as of August 16, the NYPL All-Star Break, it sits at a respectable 4.55 with a low water mark of 4.50 on August 6 after a 2 1/3 inning scoreless appearance in his first game back in his home state since he was drafted.

He has struck out at least one batter in every game since July 18 and is averaging 7.5 K/9 and 3.83 K/BB ratio.

Neumann has been pitching about once every four days and is averaging almost two innings per appearance.

At 23.116 years old per Baseball Reference, he is slightly older than the average player in the NYPL, but with an encouraging trend, I expect Neumann to pitch in a full season league next year.

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How did JP Sportman make the New York-Penn League All-Star Game in 26 games?

JP Sportman was a 4-year starter at Central Connecticut State University and tonight will be in the New York-Penn League All-Star Game after hitting .367 in 26 games with the Vermont Lake Monsters. Photo Credit - www.ccsubluedevils.com

JP Sportman was a 4-year starter at Central Connecticut State University and tonight will be in the New York-Penn League All-Star Game after hitting .367 in 26 games with the Vermont Lake Monsters.
Photo Credit – http://www.ccsubluedevils.com

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.

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.