A Blog of Toronto Blue Jays Prospects Interviews, Evaluations and News

David Jacob Developing Well at First Base

Young first baseman found success in both phases of the game

David Jacob Developing Well at First Base

October 1, 2017

David Jacob performed well despite some ups and downs in 2017. (Tyler Marcotte)

David Jacob performed well despite some ups and downs in 2017. (Tyler Marcotte)

Looking at David Jacob’s stats from 2017, and one might get the idea that his season came easily for the up-and-coming star.

But what his .274/.335/.446 slash line in 168 at-bats doesn’t tell is the way he had to work out of some adversity in Lansing to find success in the Midwest League.

“Lansing had its ups and downs,” explained Jacob. “Cesar Martin took me aside during a drill after I started 1-for-19 and told me to do what I do best, hit. After that, everything seemed to fall into place.”

Falling in place it did, as Jacob recorded 21 hits in 73 at-bats with the Lugnuts, while supporting a .796 OPS in his short stint in Lansing.

Prior to joining Lansing, Jacob appeared in games for the GCL Blue Jays, Vancouver Canadians, and Buffalo Bisons in 2017.

As expected, Jacob is especially fond of his brief stint in triple-A ball, as he got a taste of how the higher level minor leaguers handle their business on and off the field.

“I didn’t expect to play in Buffalo this year,” stated Jacob. “But the team had a few guys injured, and needed a couple guys before the all-star break. The team welcomed me as soon as I walked into the locker room. They showed me the ropes and how everything would go down that night. I was happy about how I played for the most part. I got a couple good swings in against a big leaguer. It’s a moment I’ll never forget!”

Jacob feels his success at the plate comes from keeping his approach simple since turning pro in 2016.

“My plate approach has pretty much stayed the same my whole career,” said Jacob. “I hunt the fastball and hit it. I’ve noticed as I’ve leveled up that pitchers are less likely to cave in and throw a fastball in a typical hitters count. I’ve had to adjust to that and learn from previous at-bats about how I’m going to be pitched.”

Despite his repetition as a reliable hitter, Jacob is also a solid defender that didn’t commit a single error at either first base or right field last season.

Playing primarily at first, Jacob took part in 20 double plays, while assisting on another 11 in his 200 innings at the right side of the infield.

Putting an emphasis on this area of his game during warm-ups, Jacob discusses the practicing techniques he used to have a solid season in the field.

“I made it a point to take 20 or so ground balls each way during batting practice. Some off the bag, some behind the runner just to simulate different game situations,” explained Jacob. “Overall, I’m happy with my defense, but there is always room to get better. Personally, I want to get better at picks.”

Blue Jays fans certainly hope that David Jacob can continue to find consistency in both phases of the game, as he makes a push for more playing time at higher levels in upcoming seasons.