IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa junior Robert Neustrom became the program’s highest position player drafted since 1992 when he was selected in fifth round of 2018 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft by the Baltimore Orioles.
Neustrom was selected with the 145th pick. Former Hawkeye Danan Hughes was taken in the third round (79th pick) of the 1992 MLB Draft. Neustrom is the 16th player selected under Iowa head coach Rick Heller.
The Sioux City, Iowa, native earned first-team All-Big Ten honors as a junior after hitting .311 with 15 doubles and 11 home runs, ranking in the top 10 in the Big Ten in both categories. The outfielder tied for the team-lead with 43 runs and drove in 36. He had 19 multi-hit and nine multi-RBI games.
The junior year performance came a season after Neustrom earned second-team All-Big Ten honors as a sophomore after hitting .310 with 55 RBIs. Neustrom also was a Cape Cod League All-Star in 2017.
In three years at Iowa, Neustrom played in 166 games with 152 starts. He started the final 116 games to close out his Hawkeye career. Neustrom hit .310 for his career with 37 doubles, four triples, and 21 home runs. He scored 108 runs and had 112 RBIs.
IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa senior Tyler Cropley became the second Hawkeye off the board in the 2018 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft when he was selected in the eighth round by the Washington Nationals.
Cropley, a catcher from McCook Lake, South Dakota, was the 251st pick. He is the 17th player selected in the MLB Draft under Iowa head coach Rick Heller.
The Nationals selected Cropley following his All-America senior season. The Johnny Bench Award Semifinalist hit a team-best .342 and led the team in hits (68), doubles (20), RBIs (50), slugging percentage (.578), and on-base percentage (.449). He also tied for the team lead with 43 runs and was second with nine home runs.
Cropley ranked in the top-15 in the Big Ten Conference in nine different offensive categories and his 20 doubles were tied for the second-most in a single season in school history. Iowa won 33 games, its fifth straight 30-win season.
The first-team All-Big Ten selection paced the team with 21 multi-hit and 14 multi-RBI contests. He had two walk-off home runs — a grand slam in Iowa’s 13-9 win over Bradley on March 28 and a two-run home run to give the Hawkeyes a 7-5 series-clinching victory over No. 7 Michigan on April 29.
Cropley was a second-team All-Big Ten and Big Ten All-Tournament team selection as a junior after hitting .268 with 41 runs and 36 RBIs. He played in 114 games with 112 starts in his two seasons in Iowa City where he was a .304 hitter with 28 doubles, 18 home runs, and 86 RBIs.