Central Connecticut outfielder J.P. Sportman was drafted in the 27th round of the 2014 Major League Baseball Draft on Saturday by the Oakland Athletics. Sportman, a First Team All-Conference selection in 2014, is the first draft pick for the Blue Devils since Evan Scribner was picked in the 28th round of the 2007 draft. Scribner is also in the A's organization.
Sportman finished his career with the Blue Devils with impressive offensive numbers. He led Central in hitting in 2014 with a .337 average, including team-highs in hits (63), triples (7), home runs (3) and runs batted in (23). He struck out only 15 times in 187 at bats and stole a team-best 15 bases, while slugging .497 on the year.
For his career Sportman was one of the top offensive players in program history. He batted .327 for his career in 202 games played, including 199 career starts. His 248 hits rank fifth all-time at CCSU. He scored 126 runs (10th all-time), drove in 123 runs (8th all-time), recorded 48 doubles (tie-4th all-time), 13 triples (tied-3rd all-time) and stole 37 bases (6th all-time).
Sportman earned First Team All-Conference honors as a senior and sophomore and Second Team honors as a junior and a freshman. He is the second Blue Devil in school history to be named All-Conference in each of his four seasons (Rob Hosgood).
Sportman is the first Blue Devil to be picked in the MLB Draft since Scribner in 2007. Scribner was drafted in the 28th round by the Diamondbacks, was later traded to the Padres organization and is currently a member of the 40-man roster with the Oakland Athletics. He is currently playing with the AAA Sacramento River Cats of the Pacific Coast League. Scribner began the season on the A's roster, and has seen time with the A's in each of the last three seasons.
Scribner was the first pick for the Blue Devils since former CCSU All-Conference pick Rob Hosgood was selected by the Colorado Rockies in the 2004 Draft in the 24th Round. In 2003 Barry Hertzler was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 11th Round of the 2003 draft. Hertzler spent six seasons in the Red Sox organization including two seasons in AAA Pawtucket.