Central Connecticut State outfielder JP Sportman thought there was a chance he would go on Day 2 of the MLB draft on Friday. But that didn’t happen for the Schenectady native and LaSalle Institute graduate.
However, waiting the extra day didn’t dull the excitement when the Oakland Athletics picked Sportman in the 27th round on Saturday.
“I’m pretty excited,” Sportman said. “I couldn’t explain the feeling. I’m with my friends and my family, and they all got to be here listening to me get the call. It was a pretty cool experience. I’m ready to go out and play.”
Sportman was hoping that he was going to get picked on Friday. A number of teams were interested in him.
“There were some teams in the mix on Day 2 around the eighth and 10th rounds, and it didn’t work out,” Sportman said. “It was just kind of a guessing game for me. I had a good amount of teams call and tell me I could go here or could go there. I was sitting there [Saturday], and Oakland picked me. I had no idea that they were going to be there. It was cool. It was shocking.
“It was one of the coolest experiences of my life.”
Sportman just completed his collegiate career at Central Connecticut State. He led the Blue Devils in hitting with a .337 average. He also led the team with 63 hits, seven triples, three homers and 23 RBI. Sportman struck out just 15 times in 187 at-bats.
He finished his career with a .327 average. His 248 hits rank fifth is school history.
Sportman is the second player taken by the Athletics. On Friday, Shenendehowa High School grad and University of Virginia junior second baseman Branden Cogswell was picked in the seventh round. The two were teammates on the South Troy Dodgers.
“He called me right when it happened,” Sportman said. “He’s one of my best friends. I’m extremely excited to be playing with Branden.”