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Sunday, August 21, 2022

Scott Neill pitched well in big game for college scouts; Saw four pro seasons, made high-A

Scott Neill pitched well enough at Hancock College to be called the school's ace. He pitched well enough in one 1986 game in particular to earn himself a full ride to Loyola Marymount, The Santa Maria Times wrote.

In that one game, against rival Rio Hondo, Neill took a no-hitter into the ninth inning - with a Loyola scout in attendance, The Times wrote.

"They talked to a few scouts that had seen me pitch and they saw me against Rio Hondo when I almost threw a perfect game," Neill told The Times after signing with Loyola. "I guess that helped."

His time at Loyola then eventually helped Neill on to the pros. His pro career lasted four seasons. He topped out at high-A.

Neill's career began in 1988, signed by the Indians as an undrafted free agent out of Loyola Marymount University.

At Hancock, Neill helped pitch his team to the 1986 conference championship game with a nine-inning effort for a 7-3 win, after running into some middle innings trouble, The Times wrote.

"For a while there, I wasn't throwing hard," Neill told The Times afterward. "I let too many guys get on base. Then I kicked myself and picked it up."

At Loyola, Neill was included in a feature by The Los Angeles Times on Loyola player nicknames. Neill's nickname, "Scooter," he'd had since childhood.

With the Indians, Neill started in the rookie Gulf Coast League. He went 4-3 in 10 outings, eight starts, with a 4.22 ERA. 

He moved to short-season Watertown and rookie Burlington in 1989. He went 4-3 that year, with a 2.21 ERA in 21 outings, one start.

Neill arrived at high-A Kinston for 1990. There, he went 8-3, with a 2.74 ERA in 41 relief outings. That August. The LA Times checked in after the reliever went 28.2 scoreless innings until former Red Sox top selection Greg Blosser ended it with a home run.

"It took a first-round draft pick to score a run off me," Neill told The LA Times.

Neill returned for 40 more outings at Kinston in 1991. He went 7-1, with a 2.73 ERA to end his career.

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:4,005
Made the Majors:1,331-33.2%
Never Made Majors:2,674-66.8%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:545
10+ Seasons in the Minors:329

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