Detroit Tigers: 4 reasons Jackson Jobe is risky
Jackson Jobe Risk Factor Number1 – Mental Struggles
About 17% of the 202 busts in our sample struggled with issues that weren’t directly related to throwing a baseball. The actual number is likely much higher, but teams ignored mental skills until very recently, so many players suffered in silence. It can be very easy to simply focus on performance and forget about the humans behind the numbers.
Most high-school pitchers are 18 or 19 when they sign. They’re technically adults, but certainly not fully mature. In many cases professional baseball is their first real job, their first time living away from home, and their first taste of freedom. For some of them pro ball is also the first time they’ve tasted failure in any real way. Add in enormous sums of money, and the boredom of playing once every five or six days, and it’s not too hard to see how some pitchers might find themselves dealing with anxiety, depression, or substance abuse.
And some pitchers simply lose their love for the game. Tyler Gonzales (TOR, 2012) quit baseball after two partial seasons to pursue a career in punk music. Dillon Howard (CLE, 2011) pitched for one year, was suspended for 50 games, and then lost the desire to pitch. And Ashe Russell, the pitcher in the picture above, struggled for two seasons before walking away from baseball in 2017. He returned this season, but walked eight batters in four innings and was released.
Presumably the Detroit Tigers did lots of homework on Jackson Jobe’s makeup before they drafted him, but no one can predict the future. Hopefully the club has also committed resources to help players with any issues that may arise in the future.