Blue Springs shortshop Austin Neuweg ranked seventh in Missouri, drawing college baseball attention

Cody Thorn
Special to The Examiner
Austin Neuweg, because of an arm injury and illness, was forced to play at designated hitter only for Blue Springs in his junior season. The senior-to-be, who led the Wildcats with a .421 average, has been ranked as the No. 7 shortstop in Missouri and has at least one Division I offer already.

Austin Neuweg is enjoying time back on the field at his natural position at shortstop. 

The Blue Springs High School senior-to-be played only three innings there this spring before an arm injury forced him to serve as a designated hitter for the Wildcats the remainder of the season.

Neuweg returned to playing shortstop this summer for his traveling team, the YBC 18U Black – coached by Beau Franklin.

His play at the position – in the field and at the plate – has garnered attention from college coaches and recruiting services. Last week, Prep Baseball Report named him the No. 7-ranked shortstop in Missouri in the Class of 2022. 

Three of the top seven hailed from Kansas City – No. 2 Jack Mosh from St. Pius X and No. 4 Jake Daneff from Park Hill. No. 1 is Grant Richars from St. Dominic in suburban St. Louis. In fact, the top three in the rankings are all Division I recruits and Neuweg hopes to add to that list. 

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He has an offer from Division I Saint Louis University earlier this summer and has been in contact with several coaches at the NCAA Division II – including national runners-up Central Missouri – and junior college ranks as well. 

“To see my name as the seventh best shortstop in Missouri, it made my heart pump pretty fast,” said Neuweg, who quickly called his father to relay the news. “I didn’t think I would be seventh in the state. I was hopefully going to be in the top 20-ish, maybe top 15, if I was lucky. It was an honor for me.” 

Neuweg has been busy traveling this summer, including places like Fayetteville, Arkansas and Denver, and will play in Marion, Iowa, this upcoming weekend for the last big tournament of the season. 

Franklin’s roster features players from throughout Eastern Jackson County. The group of other Blue Springs players include Nate England, Trent Martin, Joey Gibler, Taylor Warren and Alec Butler. YBC features Gavin Williams, Quinton Robertson, Gannon Grieb and Dylan Reed from Blue Springs South. There are two from Grain Valley – Riley Bown and Josh McAnerney, while Lee’s Summit North’s Simon Murray and William Chrisman’s Kona Hudson are also on the roster. 

Neuweg said his goal this summer was to just have fun and get noticed by coaches. He did that when he got an offer from a SLU program run by Darin Hendrickson, the former Central Missouri coach. The Billikens also have another local connection in hitting coach Logan Moon, a former Royals minor leaguer who played at Blue Springs South. 

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Blue Springs High School coach Tim McElligott isn’t surprised schools have taken notice of Neuweg. 

“His work ethic, the way he works and the way he approaches the game when he is at bat, he has a plan,” McElligott said. "I just see bigger things for him. I know he is upset he missed time in the field his junior year. It is such a big recruiting year, but that shows the type of kid he is to get a D-I offer after only being a DH. They saw enough as a sophomore, freshman and in the summer – even in the short time in the summer – to offer him.” 

Neuweg opened this past year as the starting shortstop for the Wildcats but got hurt in the third inning of the first game. He was forced to play designated hitter after that and a subsequent visit to the doctor meant he missed 10 games. The Wildcats were 1-9 without him in the lineup. He finished with a .421 average, three doubles, four triples, one home run and 22 RBIs, 14 steals and a 1.075 OPS (on base plus slugging percentage) despite missing a significant chunk of time. 

“We got him back and he tore it up from the three-hole the rest of the year,” McElligott said. “And he batted near .400. He is such a leader and his baseball IQ is off the chart. We saw that when we moved him up (to varsity) in April his freshman year.”