The Blue Wahoos are off to a red hot start in 2019. They’re the first Southern League team to 20 wins and it’s thanks in large part to their stellar pitching staff.
“When you have a group of guys that want to compete every day, it helps push everybody else after them. There’s a winning attitude around here and we’re feeding off each other,” said Blue Wahoos pitcher Griffin Jax.
One pitcher feeding off that winning attitude is Griffin Jax, he was recently named Southern League Pitcher of the Week.
“Personally I feel great, but I can’t keep looking at my numbers. I have to go out each week and give my team my best effort,” said Jax.
The right handed pitcher has been dominant on the mound for the Wahoos. But he wasn’t always considered a rising star.
“Growing up I was never the best player in high school, I was a slow developer and late bloomer,” said Jax.
Jax took an unusual route to professional baseball, deciding to pitch at the Air Force Academy in college.
“You’re going to have a handful of guys that want to play baseball. The rest are there to get a degree and move on with their life,” said Jax. “The level of competitive play isn’t the highest, but it all comes down to you. Individually at the end of the day it’s how bad you want it.”
Jax took care of his business in college and caught the eye of the Minnesota Twins, who selected him in the third round of the 2016 MLB Draft.
Jax is on the verge of seeing his baseball dreams become reality, and a military program is helping make it happen.
“The program I’m in is called the ‘World Class Athlete Program’. Essentially it allows athletes of any kind of sport to pursue an olympic opportunity to train,” said Jax.
Since baseball has been reinstated in the 2020 Olympic games, Jax is allowed to train in his olympic sport of baseball with the Twins. He’s still active duty and fulfilling his military obligations, but he also gets to pursue his dream of making it to the big leagues.
And he gets to do that in the perfect place, Pensacola.
“I’ve had a lot of people reach out because they’re interested in my story. With the Naval station here and two Air Force bases, where I have buddies at close by, it’s been fun. I have a lot of friends that want to come by and watch me pitch every time I get the chance to,” said Jax.