Jackson Jobe is 'fired up just talking about' his future with Tigers

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The last time Jackson Jobe reared back against a live batter was May 14, two months before the Tigers drafted him third overall. The next time will be at minicamp in Lakeland, where he's reporting for duty February 15.

"It’s pretty much all I’ve been thinking about since the draft," Jobe said Wednesday from his home in Oklahoma City as he prepares for his first official season with the Tigers. "I was hoping to get a few innings when I was down there in the fall, but ended up just throwing a few bullpens. So I’m hungry. I’m counting down the days. It couldn’t come any sooner."

To help pass the time, Jobe has been following a strict schedule of working out and eating, in between sessions with his pitching coach. As a 19-year-old, working out and eating is kind of his thing. The 6'2 right-hander weighed about 190 when the Tigers drafted him last July. He's up to 205 now and aiming to be 210 by the start of camp.

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Jobe has also been keeping up with his Lakeland roommate and his draft mate Izaac Pacheco, the 19-year-old slugger the Tigers took in the second round. And by keeping up, we mean talking trash -- "since the day we both got drafted," said Jobe. The two are itching to face each other for the first time this spring.

"That will definitely be a fun one," said Jobe. "He thinks he’s gonna get me, and I think I’m gonna get him. So we’re going to find out."

The Tigers have a lot to find out about Jobe themselves. They do know this: his four-seamer explodes out of his hand, his slider falls off the face of the earth and his spin rates are through the roof. He has a smooth, repeatable delivery and a lightning-quick arm. He projects as a top-of-the-rotation starter.

He already talks like one. Asked if he's sought any advice from pitchers in the Tigers system on making the jump to the pros, Jobe said he doesn't want to "overthink it." Hard to blame him: he posted a 0.13 ERA and 112 strikeouts to five walks in his senior season at Heritage High. He said he's "just trying to stay within myself" because "I know I have the stuff to be successful." He's already one of the top 50 prospects in baseball.

"I have a lot of confidence in myself and I have a lot of confidence in my stuff," he said. "So I think if I just go out there, attack guys and do things the way I do them, then things will go how I want them to."

Jobe will get his first chance to prove it this spring. Pacheco might be his first victim. Where he starts the season remains to be seen, but rookie ball is likely the next step in his journey, followed by Low-A ball with the Lakeland Flying Tigers. The Detroit Tigers are still several years away, but Jobe sees where they're going with a core of young talent and a team on the rise.

"I get fired up just talking about it," he said. "I’m really excited for what they’re doing. I think I got here at the right time. I’m blessed to be a part of it and excited for the future of the Tigers."