Jump to content

Providing independent coverage of the Minnesota Twins.
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

The Forums

Game Thread: Twins @ Angels 7:07 PM PST (9:07 PM CST) 5/...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 04:20 AM
I got up this morning, thrilled the Twins swept a three game series from Seattle.   Then, someone whispered in my ear and said, "Bla...
Full topic ›

Article: Twins Daily Community Report 5/12-5/18

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 11:38 PM
Time is short, but there are a number of small developments in Twins Daily’s community as stories, interaction and new visitors all seem...
Full topic ›

Article: Episode 427: Next Man Up

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 10:25 PM
Aaron and John talk about Nelson Cruz and Mitch Garver getting hurt, Miguel Sano and Willians Astudillo taking their place, calling up Lu...
Full topic ›

CRON! Just a little appreciation thrown his way.

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 10:15 PM
Going to fully admit I knew very little about C.J. before the Twins signed him. I did what a lot of us did, look up his career numbers an...
Full topic ›

Article: Let’s Talk About Byron Buxton’s Swing

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 10:23 PM
There’s something amazing about Byron Buxton at the plate this season.Data confirms your suspicions that Buxton is indeed hitting the bal...
Full topic ›

Griffin Jax's Baseball Career Resumes

It’s complex. It’s confusing. But the most important thing for Griffin Jax and the Minnesota Twins, Jax can play baseball in the Minnesota Twins organization, just like all of the other prospects. Well, very similar to other Twins prospects.

Recently, the Twins draft pick learned that he will be able to remain on active duty with the military while training with the Minnesota Twins organization because of the Air Force’s World Class Athlete program.

(For more background on Griffin Jax, here is a Q&A he did with Twins Daily in January 2017.)
Image courtesy of David McQueen (photo of Griffin Jax)
When the Twins made Griffin Jax their third-round draft choice in 2016, he became the highest player ever selected from the Air Force. At the time, it was assumed that Jax would be able to play full-time upon his graduation in May of 2017. That was something that was allowed for athletes, to immediately pursue a professional career after graduation.

However, in April of 2017, the Department of Defense changed its policy. Now it would be required to serve two years of active duty after graduation before a person could even apply to serve out their time on reserve status for the purpose of playing pro sports.

Jax, who pitched in four games for Elizabethton in 2016 after the draft, figured he would only be able to pitch in the Twins organization during his leaves from his active duty. Last summer, he pitched one game for Elizabethton before making four starts for the Cedar Rapids Kernels. Having graduated, he was assigned to serve in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The assumption was that he would do the same in 2018 and maybe even 2019.

However, in December Jax applied for the military’s World Class Athlete Program which allows active-duty military personnel to make training for the Olympics their full-time responsibility. Because of Jax’s draft position and his signing bonus, he was able to fit the “World Class Athlete” criteria. Also, because baseball is again an Olympic sport Jax can be training toward that goal.

That’s complex, but it gets even more confusing in a way because military personnel can’t earn a second income. In other words, the Twins could not pay Jax to play for the organization. That’s why it took from December (when Jax applied for the program) until into April (when Jax was approved). Finally, an agreement was made that the Twins could “outfit, feed and cover Jax’s travel.” However, the Air Force will pay him.

Jax made his way to Ft. Myers on April 24th to begin his extended spring training. On Friday, Jax threw his first live batting practice. It’s something he will likely do another time or two over the next week. At that point, he may make a start or two in EST games. And then he should be assigned to a full-season roster. After just four starts in Cedar Rapids in 2017, he could go there. Depending on where he’s at, he could jump directly to the Ft. Myers Miracle.

All that is to be determined over the next week or two. For now, Jax is just excited to be back on the mound and to have some resolution to his situation.

As he told The Gazette (Colorado Springs) after the decision, “It was just an awesome feeling hearing, 'yes,' finally.”

  • Tibs, dbminn, Luke Albrecht and 4 others like this

  • Share:
  • submit to reddit
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

40 Comments

This is very interesting news.

    • glunn likes this

Congrats to him. Glad to see him able to fulfill both his service obligation and go back to following his dream. Good luck brother and Godspeed. 

    • glunn likes this

That is really interesting. Does the military pay better than the minors? Maybe you'll see some minor leaguers enlisting!  

    • glunn and Respy like this
So he will make 3 k a month give or take. Is he enlisted or an officer? Officer is around 50k depending on rank. Pay scale is available online as it goes by a set scale.
    • glunn and Respy like this

Bet he will make better $ paid by the Air Force instead of getting paid by the Twins...

 

Good news.Let's see how it goes.

    • glunn likes this
Photo
clutterheart
May 05 2018 06:57 PM
What a weird arrangement. But whatever.
Good luck to him
    • glunn likes this

Certainly he would make more money from the Air Force, but that's obviously not what this is about... It's about making him eligible to be a part of the World Class Athlete Program and getting him to the Twins to train. 

    • glunn and RaymondLuxuryYacht like this

 

So he will make 3 k a month give or take. Is he enlisted or an officer? Officer is around 50k depending on rank. Pay scale is available online as it goes by a set scale.

 

Virtually all Air Force Academy graduates get commissions as officers. Nice pay scale for Jax while he waits for his MLB call-up. (Some time after the 2020 Olympics?).

    • glunn, Thrylos and goulik like this

 

So he will make 3 k a month give or take. Is he enlisted or an officer? Officer is around 50k depending on rank. Pay scale is available online as it goes by a set scale.

WhenI checked, I think he was a 1st Lieutenant (O-2). $3850 + $250 + housing (1400 - 2200, depending on which base in FL he is stationed at - I think it was Patrick AFB.)

 

    • glunn and dbminn like this
Photo
terrydactyls1947
May 06 2018 09:43 AM
I guess I am the only person interested in how he does on the field and not how much he's paid.
    • gunnarthor, 70charger and RaymondLuxuryYacht like this

 

I guess I am the only person interested in how he does on the field and not how much he's paid.

No, you are not.But I do expect part of the deal the Air Force worked out with him is that if the Twins pay his housing, travel, etc., the Air Force won't be paying his housing allowance.

 

More important, however, is that this is FANTASTIC news for both Jax and the Twins.He has a lot of talent which can now begin being developed.Don't know where he will start his season, but expect he will end it back in Florida with the Miracle.

Didn't see that coming! Good luck to him.

So what does this all mean if he would make the majors in 2-3 years when he still has the military commitment?

 

So what does this all mean if he would make the majors in 2-3 years when he still has the military commitment?

That's unlikely to be a problem we will have to concern ourselves with.

 

The reality is, Jax is 23 years old (he's one month younger than Kohl Stewart) and hasn't thrown 40 innings since the Twins drafted him. He's made four starts in low A ball. He's really not a prospect anymore but more a feel-good story.

Good news for him and the Twins. There are so very few military personnel that would ever truly be affected by a legitimate chance to play professional sports that I always felt a workable solution for something like this, or finishing their comitment in a reserve capacity made the most sense. It also can be used as a recruiting tool. For example, when David Robinson was allowed to do so, DID anyone, anywhere, not know about his Navy backstory? His nickname was the Admiral for goodness sake.

Now, how his overall prospect status has been affected is probably too hard to define. He does/did have some potential. Teams will take talented players wherever they can get them. If he turns out to be a quality pitcher at 27 instead of 24-25, I don't think the Twins, or anyone else, would simply turn a blind eye.

But it IS a good story.
    • jokin likes this
Probably should make him a RP, given his age and how little he has pitched
Photo
tarheeltwinsfan
May 06 2018 07:47 PM

I may be the only one asking this question, but I feel it needs to be asked. The taxpayers paid for Jax to attend the Air Force Academy because he signed a contract and swore an oath to protect and defend the United States of America for 4 years in the Air Force after graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy. Now, less than 1 year after his graduation,the taxpayers are paying Jax's salary, not to serve in the Air Force the remaining 3 years of his commitment, but rather the taxpayers are paying him $50,000 a year to play minor league baseball because he is a world class baseball player? Just asking.

 

That's unlikely to be a problem we will have to concern ourselves with.

 

The reality is, Jax is 23 years old (he's one month younger than Kohl Stewart) and hasn't thrown 40 innings since the Twins drafted him. He's made four starts in low A ball. He's really not a prospect anymore but more a feel-good story.

What???

 

We could say the same of any draft pick as there is no such thing as a "sure thing", and yes that means even the chosen one that is known as Royce. But I have to ask, and yes I know I will regret this... but what the heck does that even mean? Do you not like the fact that his obligation to his country has prohibited him, until now, to throw lots of innings in the minors?  

 

The guys has loads of talent given his high draft status and for you to so cavalierly sit there and declare him "not a prospect" because of his "advanced age" of 23 years and lack of innings thus far... well you'll have to excuse me for coming to the defense of my fellow brothers in arms.

 

In closing, I apologize in advance if I misinterpreted your statement, if I did not... please do not speak ill of those who serve. It does not sit well with me.

    • RaymondLuxuryYacht likes this

 

So what does this all mean if he would make the majors in 2-3 years when he still has the military commitment?

 

Baseball is essentially his full time job... he's on active duty until (I believe) May of 2019. 

    • darin617 likes this

 

That's unlikely to be a problem we will have to concern ourselves with.

 

The reality is, Jax is 23 years old (he's one month younger than Kohl Stewart) and hasn't thrown 40 innings since the Twins drafted him. He's made four starts in low A ball. He's really not a prospect anymore but more a feel-good story.

 

He is absolutely a prospect. I'm pretty certain he would be in my Top 40 and I'm thinking by the end of the year, he could be much higher. Age just isn't a factor right now for him. He's young, he's been in college, he's got a big arm and good stuff... 

    • RaymondLuxuryYacht likes this

 

He is absolutely a prospect. I'm pretty certain he would be in my Top 40 and I'm thinking by the end of the year, he could be much higher. Age just isn't a factor right now for him. He's young, he's been in college, he's got a big arm and good stuff... 

How old would a player be if he played his full college career? 22 or 23 depending on how old he was when he graduated high school.

 

No reason why he can't become a major league pitcher. It took Jake Arrieta until he turned 28 to figure it out. Whether that was due to a pitching coach or that he finally matured at what turns out to be a late age. No one knows.

 

How old would a player be if he played his full college career? 22 or 23 depending on how old he was when he graduated high school.

 

No reason why he can't become a major league pitcher. It took Jake Arrieta until he turned 28 to figure it out. Whether that was due to a pitching coach or that he finally matured at what turns out to be a late age. No one knows.

 

Brian Dozier. Mitch Garver. Trevor Hildenberger. There are just three examples of players who have gone to four (or five, in Hildenberger's case) years of college.  

 

Dozier was in the big leagues less than three years later. Garver took just over three years. Hildenberger was almost exactly three years. 

 

I may be the only one asking this question, but I feel it needs to be asked. The taxpayers paid for Jax to attend the Air Force Academy because he signed a contract and swore an oath to protect and defend the United States of America for 4 years in the Air Force after graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy. Now, less than 1 year after his graduation,the taxpayers are paying Jax's salary, not to serve in the Air Force the remaining 3 years of his commitment, but rather the taxpayers are paying him $50,000 a year to play minor league baseball because he is a world class baseball player? Just asking.

The military has a demand for fit, athletic people to join the ranks, and currently about 75% of the graduating HS seniors are disqualified for fitness, drug, or legal issues. The World Class Athlete program is good advertising, and for every one that is in the program there are probably 30 more who will join because they know that signing on the dotted line isn't signing away the pro dream.

    • DannySD likes this

 

What???

 

We could say the same of any draft pick as there is no such thing as a "sure thing", and yes that means even the chosen one that is known as Royce. But I have to ask, and yes I know I will regret this... but what the heck does that even mean? Do you not like the fact that his obligation to his country has prohibited him, until now, to throw lots of innings in the minors?  

 

The guys has loads of talent given his high draft status and for you to so cavalierly sit there and declare him "not a prospect" because of his "advanced age" of 23 years and lack of innings thus far... well you'll have to excuse me for coming to the defense of my fellow brothers in arms.

 

In closing, I apologize in advance if I misinterpreted your statement, if I did not... please do not speak ill of those who serve. It does not sit well with me.

This came up when the Twins drafted him. The assumption was that he could serve his two years of service in the reserves and still pitch full time for the Twins. It was a risk since those rules could be - and were - changed. So the Twins thought they'd have Jax around a lot more when the drafted him. If he could have played with the Twins, he was a solid 3rd round pick. But because he's missed so much time, it's really hurt him.

 

http://www.thegazett...ansing-20170722

 

Sure, there are no sure things in the drafts but it's always better to bet on players who are actually playing baseball, like Lewis. Right now, Jax hasn't played much. When he has, he hasn't actually been all that dominant (I made the comparison to Stewart for a reason - Stewart is getting raked over the coals for his low K-totals in AA, Jax has worse K totals in low A). He's old for a prospect. Sure, there are old players who figured it out but it's not a thing you want to rely on.

 

Lastly, this is a minor league baseball forum. We're talking about players in our system. Occasionally, we get feel-good stories here, especially from Seth. But generally this is about talking about these guys as prospects. There are a lot of really good guys in the minors who won't make it and only occasionally is that mentioned. I don't think you should expect people to not say what they think about Jax the prospect just b/c you might be overly sensitive to it. Saying a guy with his profile isn't really a prospect anymore isn't that controversial.

 

Fair enough. I won't say that I agree with your view point, but I do respect it. My only real umbrage with your point was my initial (and most likely incorrect) take that he was being cast down upon simply for being a service member and being put behind the developmental learning curve because of it.

 

It appears that is not the case, and as such you have my thanks for taking a moment to explain it as such. That being said, I hope he can make up some for lost time and get back on track but I won't disagree that the odds may be against him though.


Similar Articles