Left Handed Pitcher Jeff Singer was born in Philadelphia and spent most of his life in New Jersey.
He went to Gloucester County College for two years, where he was a 2 time All-American National Champion and National Player of the Year. He then spent a year at Monmouth University, and eventually finished his collegiate career as a Scarlet Raptor at Rutgers University-Camden for his final year. Singer led the Scarlet Raptors’ staff in starts (10), innings (66), strikeouts (69) and saves (2), while tying for the staff lead in appearances (13). As the team’s pitching ace, he compiled a 3.82 ERA and a 4-3 record.
Ultimately he went undrafted after college, and when a workout with the Phillies after the draft also didn’t result in a contract, he turned to the Camden Riversharks in the Atlantic League.
“It was a very easy decision for me to go to the Riversharks after I didn’t get drafted,” Singer said. “I still had a few classes to take at Rutgers-Camden, and I was working some small jobs. All I want to do is play baseball, and the Riversharks gave me that opportunity.”
The Atlantic League is known more as a veteran’s league than a rookie league, and Singer was the youngest pitcher in the league. He knew that he had to use that as an opportunity to learn and grow.
“I was very lucky to start my professional career in the Atlantic League. I got the opportunity to play with players that made it to the big leagues, and even some that have World Series rings. It was a big change from Rutgers-Camden to the Atlantic League,” Singer explained.
“Being one of the youngest players in the league I knew to just feed off of all the experience I was getting the chance to play with. The pitchers and some of the position players always helped me with mechanics and mental aspects of the game. I was very lucky to be with a great group of guys.”
He started the season in the bullpen for the Riversharks, but eventually finished out the season as a starter. Singer was 1-4 with a 5.26 ERA in 13 games (6 starts) with Camden. In 49.2 innings, he allowed 51 hits and walked 30 batters while striking out 30 batters.
Singer threw for the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles in a workout after the Atlantic League season and was getting some interest, especially from the Yankees. That was when Phillies scout Rowland George, who had been following Singer, suggested that the Phillies take another look and move quickly if they wanted to sign him.
Last month, the lifelong Phillies fan signed a minor league contract with the team.
(Singer signed with the Philadelphia Phillies on Oct. 15, 2015. Photo courtesy of Rutgers-Camden.)
“Getting signed by the Phillies is an incredible achievement for me and my family. My whole family is from Philly and I lived in Philly for the first couple years of my life. We live 25 minutes from Citizens Bank Park and have been going to games since the Vet was still up. It’s always been my dream to play professional baseball and I couldn’t be happier that it is with my hometown team.”
He will get a chance to prove himself to the Phillies in spring training when they will decide what level to start him at and if he will be used as a starter or reliever.
“He has a good curveball and a good change-up,” Phillies scout Rowland George told CBS Philly. “He has a bright future. He’s a great kid with a big heart and he’s not afraid of hard work. As long as he stays healthy, I believe he will pitch in the big leagues.”