Mound Vist with Jeff Singer
Jeff Singer lives in South Jersey in the Cinnaminson area. He graduated from Holy Cross High School, but not before racking up achievements such as earning a spot on the Burlington County Carpenter Cup Team.
His first two collegiate seasons were spent at Gloucester County College, where he was a two-time NJCAA Division III All-American. Jeff also earned National Player of the Year honors as a sophomore by posting a 10-1 record, microscopic 0.68 ERA, and six shutouts. He transferred to Monmouth University for his junior campaign, compiling a 5-3 record in eight starts. Finally, Jeff transferred to Division III Rutgers-Camden University, which plays its games in the tough NJAC. Singer finished 2016 with a 4-3 record, 3.82 ERA, and 69 K in 66.0 IP.
Jeff was playing for the Camden Riversharks of the Atlantic League in 2015 before signing his professional contract with the Philadelphia Phillies. He is currently playing at Class Short-Season A for the Williamsport Crosscutters of the New York-Pennsylvania League. It’s safe to say Singer has been one the club’s better pitchers this season, appearing in four of the team’s eleven games, allowing just two hits, no walks, and racking up nine strikeouts in 6.2 IP.
Jake DeWitt: What’s your take on the “Make Baseball Fun Again” movement in MLB? What does that phrase mean to you, and what do you think that phrase says about the state of baseball today?
Jeff Singer: Baseball is already fun, and the way I grew up playing the sport might mean something different than “make baseball fun again.” There are always times to show some respect, but always times to play with a chip on your shoulder and always try to beat the other guy. I don’t where this phrase can take baseball in the future, but I feel it’s not going to be too significant.
JD: What’s your stance on the 20-second pitch clock in baseball?
JS: I’ve always worked fast and kept a good tempo on the mound. I’m taught to get each pitch off in 12 seconds, so the 20-second count isn’t really a concern to me.
JD: How did your time at GCC prepare you for the minor leagues? What coach had the most influence on your mentality and work ethic?
JS: Going to GCC was definitely one of the best decisions of my life. It helped teach me to have a good work ethic and focus on my true goals in baseball. Coach Dickson, Shwartz, Speakman, and Young all were great coaches and they all contributed in making me the player I am today. Coach Swartz, who was a dominant lefty pitcher at Rowan, really helped me with mechanics and develop the mindset of a dominant pitcher.
JD: If you could be the best player in any sport other than baseball, what sport would you choose? What position would you play? What team would you play for? Why?
JS: I’d want to be the point guard for the 76ers. I love basketball and the Sixers are my favorite team.
JD: How much does playing in the Phillies’ organization mean to you, considering Philadelphia and its minor league affiliates are so close to home?
JS: Being in the Phillies Organization is a dream come true. It’s close to home and I’ve been watching the Phils play since I can remember.
JD: We live in a right-handed world. What part of life, or what physical movement, is the most difficult/frustrating being left-handed?
JS: The hardest part about being a lefty is writing. I always smudged the words I’ve written in previous sentences.
JD: You could hit a little bit in high school (or at least you hit off me pretty well!). How do you feel about Major League pitchers pushing for a HR Derby?
JS: If someone can hit home runs and put on a show for the fans, then it doesn’t matter what position they play.
JD: What’s the most difficult adjustment you’ve had to make to your lifestyle since signing a professional contract? Why?
JS: Not being around my family is difficult, but I know they support me and are behind me on this journey.
JD: Of anyone who has ever caught a pitch from you, who’s your favorite catcher of all-time? Why?
JS: I’ve been really lucky with the catchers I got to throw to over the years. I have a unique relationship with each of them, so I don’t know whom I would pick.
JD: Now that you’re a professional and can look back on your high school and collegiate seasons, what advice would you give to the younger player hoping to be in your position in a few years?
JS: Be smart, and don’t stop pursuing your dreams. Baseball is one of those games that anything can happen. Just believe that you are as good as anyone out there and don’t stop chasing the dream.
Stats courtesy of Baseball-reference.com