IP 544
ERA 4.086
WHIP 1.287
BB/9 2.928
SO/9 6.767
  • Full name Jeffrey Warren Niemann
  • Born 02/28/1983 in Houston, TX
  • Profile Ht.: 6'9" / Wt.: 285 / Bats: R / Throws: R
  • School Rice
  • Debut 04/13/2008
  • Drafted in the 1st round (4th overall) by the Tampa Bay Rays in 2004 (signed for $3,200,000).
    View Draft Report
    Though Niemann was one of three players the Padres were considering for the No. 1 overall pick in mid-May, he really hadn't been at 100 percent this season. After tying an NCAA Division I record by going 17-0 in 2003 as Rice won the College World Series, Niemann had arthroscopic surgery last fall to clean out inflamed tissue in his elbow. He also strained his groin in mid-April, sidelining him for a month, and he had made two relief appearances and two relatively ineffective starts since returning. In his first outing back, Niemann showed exactly why he could be the top choice. His fastball registered 92-97 mph, and his 6-foot-9, 260-pound frame allowed him to drive the ball down in the zone and make it that much more difficult to hit. His slider, the best breaking pitch in the draft, hit 87 mph. Niemann has exceptional body control and strike-throwing ability for his size, the result of working diligently on his mechanics. He also has a spike curveball and a changeup but hasn't needed them very often in college. Even at less than his best, Niemann had struck out 83 in 70 innings and held hitters to a .219 average. If he can regain his 2003 form in the three weeks before the draft, San Diego could opt for him over Long Beach State righthander Jered Weaver and Florida State shortstop Stephen Drew.

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  • Rated Best Slider in the Tampa Bay Rays in 2007
  • Rated Best Slider in the Tampa Bay Rays in 2006

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