CARY, N.C.—Jeremy Eierman doesn't quite the mold of a traditional shortstop. The Missouri State sophomore measures in at 6-foot-1, 205 pounds, and casts a shadow over the batter's box. With his legs spread twice the length of his already-broad shoulders, a slight leg kick and twist can generate enough torque from Eierman's tree-trunk lower half to send a ball sailing over the fence—something he did 23 times in his second season with the Bears this spring.
Eierman doesn't restrict himself to the traditional constraints of a single position. Instead, he considers himself just a ballplayer.
"I can still hit it out of the ballpark, I can steal bases," he said. "I'm pretty athletic for a shortstop, so I'd say just more of a ballplayer type."
To say Eierman can do it all might not do him justice. He hits for average (.304 career average in college), power (28 doubles and 32 home runs in his career) and is a speed threat (17 steals in 19 attempts as a sophomore).
Eierman's athleticism isn't just on display on the basepaths. Despite what might look like a bulkier frame, he can play second, third and short. His quick feet and agility help him get to balls at each position, and USA Baseball manager John Savage has already taken advantage of that through three games with the Collegiate National Team. Eierman started at shortstop in the team's first two games against Catawba, then found himself at third against Martinsville.
"I know he can play third, I know he can play short and he can definitely play second," said Savage, the UCLA coach. "He could be a possibly big league utility guy, maybe a big league shortstop."
A former high school wrestler, Eierman employs his raw strength to push balls over the fence. Eierman's power-surge sophomore season was preceded by a freshman season which saw him hit nine home runs, all in conference play. He said he started to figure out his swing better toward the end of his freshman year, but attributed his double-digit bomb season to his summer with Bourne of the Cape Cod League.
"I think the Cape helped me quite a bit," he said. "I think just with my zone against better pitching that we'll face in the near future. Just learning my zone and swinging at the right pitches."
His time on the Cape also prepared him for the Collegiate National Team.
"I think (the Cape) helped me quite a bit,” Eierman said. “As far as the new guys, just learning everyone, learning who they are, and becoming good teammates. "Going to the Cape really helped me progress as a hitter, learn my zone, and swing at the right pitches."
Eierman is signed on to return to Bourne if he doesn't land a spot on the CNT's final roster. While he'd like to spend the next few weeks with USA Baseball, he said that knowing his fallback is the nation's top summer league is a relief.
His standout sophomore season helped put him on the map and now with his eyes on the 2018 MLB Draft, Eierman just wants teams to look at him as a ballplayer, one that can do a bit of everything out in the field.
"I think it helps even more that short is a premier position," he said. "And that I can do everything that everyone else can't—all the different positions. I think that really helps. I have the power to play third base or something, but I'm playing short, and I can play short.”