IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa junior outfielder Robert Neustrom was tabbed as Perfect Game’s Preseason Big Ten Player of the Year, it was announced Thursday in PG’s Big Ten preview.
Neustrom and junior college transfer Brady Schanuel were named to the Big Ten preseason all-conference team. As a team, the Hawkeyes were picked to finish third in 2018 behind Indiana and Nebraska.
Neustrom, a Sioux City, Iowa, native started all 61 games as a sophomore, hitting .319 with nine home runs, 16 doubles, 55 RBIs, and 41 runs scored. He ranked in the top 10 in five offensive categories. Perfect Game also lists Neustrom as the 58th-best prospect nationally in the junior class.
Schanuel, a right-handed pitcher from Swansea, Illinois, was a two-time All-American at Parkland College. Last season, Schanuel went 10-1 with a 2.13 ERA, fanning 131 over 80 1/3 innings. Schanuel has been selected twice in the MLB Draft during his career — in the 36th round in 2015 by Oakland and the 20th round in 2016 by Philadelphia.
The Hawkeyes begin official team practice Friday. Iowa opens the 2018 season Feb. 16, traveling to Kissimmee, Florida, for the Diamond 9 Sunshine State Classic Series, where it will face Toledo in the regular-season opener.