Justin Jarvis was born in Kannapolis, North Carolina, and in middle school, the family moved about 20 minutes to Mooresville. In high school, he attended Lake Norman High School. Lake Norman is a large lake north of Charlotte. It has tentacles moving in lots of directions which means it has over 500 miles of shoreline. It's also big enough that they have their own version of the Loch Ness Monster that locals call "Normie." But it often provides picturesque views, especially for sunsets.
Jarvis focused on baseball. He played a little church league, but "I wasn't any good. I could play defense, but if I got the ball, it was pass, pass, pass."
In his younger years, his dream was to become a switch-hitting catcher. Then he got taller, and he had a big arm on his wiry frame. It didn't take him long to realize that his future was on the mound. (You'll also want to hear all about his thoughts on his hitting prowess in the video.)
He didn't make the varsity team until his sophomore season. Immediately he started pitching well and impressing the right people. He went to several Perfect Game events and was the #1 right-handed pitcher in North Carolina and the #13 ranked high school righty in the nation. He had committed to UNC-Wilmington, but he knew that he wanted to play pro ball. He was already hitting 92-93 mph and that definitely interested the scouts.
In his senior season, he had in-home visits with all 30 teams. It certainly can be a bit overwhelming, but along with a very supportive family, he also got great information and advice from his high school baseball coach, 12-year MLB veteran Ty Wigginton. You may recall, Wigginton had a successful career and played for eight MLB teams over his dozen MLB seasons.
"My senior year, my practice was running and playing catch and then I'd feed him balls for infield and outfield." Jarvis later added. "It was awesome. Off-the-field stuff. On-the-field stuff. Even like tax stuff. He's been there and done all that stuff. What you can write off. What you can't write off. My senior year, I didn't even really do the normal practice. He set me up for pro baseball and what it's going to be like."
The Brewers had certainly shown strong interest. In fact, his principal excused him from school for a couple of days leading up to the draft because he was flown up to Milwaukee for a workout at American Family Stadium.
As the draft approached, the assumption was that he would be selected on Day 2. In fact, his principal allowed him to reschedule a Civics test so that he could go to a Bar & Grill in town to watch the draft with his family, friends, teachers, and teammates.
In the fifth round, he heard his name. "I high-fived my dad and then started crying and had to walk out of the room. It was pretty cool!"
In Part 2 of our conversation with Justin Jarvis, we will focus on his professional career, his pitches, his development, and much more.
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