Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Tampa Bay Rays: Jeff Niemann RHP #34

40 Rays 40 Days

Jeff Niemann
RHP #34
HT:6'9 WT:280

The Dish: The Rays made Jeff Niemann the 4th overall pick in the 2004 draft out of Rice University. In 2005 Niemann went 0-1 with a 3.98 ERA in five starts. He was sent to AA Montgomery where he made six appearances(three starts) going 0-1 with a 4.35 ERA. He had surgery in the offseason, but still made 14 starts in 2006 for AA Montgomery. Niemann finished 5-5 with a 2.68 ERA as the biscuits went on to win the Southern League title that year. In 2007 Jeff spent the entire season at AAA Durham, trying to prove to the Rays and his critics that he was durable enough to remain a starter. Niemann made 25 starts and pitched a career high 131 innings.

2007 Numbers: (AAA Durham) 25 Starts 12-6 with a 3.98 ERA.

Jules Fantasy Impact: Neimann could be a very late round sleeper or a pretty good waiver wire pick up in mid season.

Role for '08: Was named as a candidate by Joe Maddon for the fourth and fifth rotation spot coming into the spring. Niemann has not disappointed either, and with the struggles of others is looking pretty good right now. If he doesn't make the team out of spring it will likely be because of the other candidates option status. If this is the case expect Niemann to be starting for the Rays by June anyway.


Baseball Cube