Neff promoted in minor leagues

Pictured is Zach Neff proudly wearing his Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Kernels hat. The Kernels are a Class A team in the Minnesota Twins organization. (submitted photo)

Gibault Catholic High School Class of 2014 baseball standout Zach Neff is moving up the ranks of the minor leagues.

Neff, who was drafted this past June in the 31st round of the Major League Baseball draft by the Minnesota Twins after pitching for Mississippi State University in the College World Series, was recently promoted to the Class A Cedar Rapids Kernals of the Midwest League. 

He was playing for the Rookie-level Elizabethton Twins prior to the call-up. At Elizabethton, Neff went 3-2 with a 4.87 ERA and five saves with 22 strikeouts in 20 and one-third innings pitched.

On Aug. 25, the 6-foot-1, 195-pound lefty reliever made his debut with Cedar Rapids, pitching two and two-thirds scoreless innings with three strikeouts and one hit allowed in a victory over the Kane County Cougars.

The Kernals have qualified for the Midwest League playoffs.

At Gibault, Neff was named the Illinois High School Baseball Coaches Association Class 1A Player of the Year in 2013 after leading the Hawks to a state title.

In other minor league news, Columbia’s Josh Fleming, a 6-foot-2 lefty pitcher, is 3-2 with a 4.36 ERA and 36 strikeouts to just five walks in 43 and one-third innings pitched over eight games (six starts) with the Charlotte Stone Crabs of the Class A Advanced Florida State League this season.

Fleming, who was selected by the Tampa Bay Rays in the fifth round of the 2017 MLB draft, was promoted to Charlotte in July after pitching well at Class A Bowling Green.

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