Happy birthday Mr. Neuweiler! Today this Royals farm hand turns 19 years old. Eighteen was very kind to Charlie, but we here at Royals Farm Report think it’s only the beginning for this young right-handed pitcher out of Monsignor McClancy High in New York. Tabbed with the 150th pick of the 2017 draft, the Royals found a young man capable of handling the pressures of professional baseball right out of the prep ranks. Owning a miniscule 1.76 ERA and a ground ball rate of 52.8%, it’s hard to imagine an 18-year-old making a more seamless transition than Charlie. Fortunately for us, Charlie was more than happy to take time out of his busy offseason schedule and answer a few questions for RFR.
Q: How did your love for baseball manifest as a youth in New York? Who were those closest to you that helped push you to become the player you are today?
CN: “I started playing catch with my dad when I was only 2 years old. As I started getting older, I joined tee-ball which then progressively lead to little league, grammar school, travel ball and high school. My parents and my family were and still are my number one supporters, along with the many coaches I had from a young age to currently.”
Q: What was it like coming up through high school as a relative unknown and developing into a MLB draft pick?
CN: “These past three years of high school have been memorable and very special to me. Starting with being chosen to play varsity as a sophomore and eventually having that lead up to committing to a D-1 school (LIU-Brooklyn), and ultimately having a dream come true of being drafted. The feeling of being drafted is still mind-blowing to this day, but I’m extremely blessed and grateful for this opportunity.”
Q: What was it like playing with Quintin Holmes and how did it feel to be taken in the same draft as your high school teammate?
CN: “It was cool to play with him; we definitely had some laughs. For us to both be drafted out of the same high school was a great experience.”
Q: How do you feel after your first season of professional ball and what were some of the ups and downs that you dealt with during the season?
CN: “I’m very happy with my decision to have signed with the Royals. During the season, I was able to push myself harder than I had ever done before and that not only came from within myself, but from the strength trainers and the coaches on the field as well. Some obstacles I had to quickly overcome was going from a high school talent level to a professional level where most guys were as good as you, if not better.”
Q: Being an 18-year-old in rookie ball, were there any older players that took you under their wing or players that you look up to?
CN: “Sal Biasi from day one was like the older brother I never had. He and I both have the same agent, and never met before. The first time we ever spoke was in the club house in Arizona, from there on out he took me under his wing. He was always checking up on me and making sure I was okay and asking me to go out to dinner with him and a couple of the older guys. To him I owe a huge thank you for being the person he was to me.”
Q: What is your best baseball memory?
CN: “The best baseball memory that comes to mind as soon as I asked myself was winning pitcher of the year in the AZL for the Royals.”
Q: Are there any major league players that you pattern your game after?
CN: “No one in specific, but I try to be like the guys who are classy on and off the field.”
Q: Can you describe your pitch arsenal for us? (pitch type/velocity/etc.)
CN: “4 seam fastball: 90-92 mph, top 93.
2 seam fastball: 89-90 mph.
Circle change: 82-84 mph.
Spike curve: 77-78.”
Q: What kind of physical gains are you looking to make this offseason? (building
CN: “This off-season I’m hoping to have gained more velo on my fastball and a little bit more command on my pitches as well.”
Q: Have you earned any nicknames yet?
CN: “The most popular one is “New York”.”
Q: Finally, any shout outs for the folks back home?
CN: “Just want to give a big shout out to my family and coaches. Especially my parents for all the time, effort and sacrifices to get me to where I am today.”
There’s something special about this kid, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him shoot up prospect rankings after the 2018 season. Watch some of this video on Neuweiler to see why we’re so excited.