Growing up in North Carolina, Justin Jarvis made himself into a top prospect, the best right-handed prep pitcher in the state. As we learned in Part 1 of the interview, he had in-house visits from all 30 MLB teams. On Day 2 of the draft, Jarvis heard his name called in the fifth round by the Milwaukee Brewers.
Be sure to watch Part 2 to find out much more about the person and the pitcher he has become since joining the Brewers organization.
Before he could head to Arizona to sign his deal, he had to finish two more final exams and then graduate from high school.
"I got picked on a Wednesday. I walked across the stage on a Saturday, and later that week, I was in Arizona. It all happened super quick."
It was really his first time away from home, so he fought a little homesickness, but he adjusted relatively quickly, gaining new friends including his first roommate, Cam Robinson.
He was helped by his first pitching coach, Hiram Burgos, that first year both on and off the field. That first season, he was coached by pitching coaches Chris Hook and Jim Henderson, guys who are now on the Brewers' big-league staff.
He returned to Wisconsin to start the 2022 season. What clicked? "To me, everything stayed the same, but something else happened. Definitely different outcomes than the rest of my career. Definitely the best year I've had. Honestly, just throwing strikes and believing in myself."
He and Cam Robinson both were likely a little disappointed in returning to the Midwest League, and they helped each other. One night playing video games in the garage, Jarvis said to his roommate, "I'm just going to go out there and pitch mad. To me, 'Pitching mad' is just like "Screw them!" I don't care who they are. Let's go. I think that's what clicked for me, a mindset, like I was saying, just the brain, pitching like I did in high school, like [audible growl... you'll want to see it!], like kind of angry out there."
Jarvis has a solid four-pitch mix. He throws a four-seam fastball, a slider, curveball, a splitter. He stopped throwing his changeup in the middle of the season due to its inconsistency. "We went out to the bullpen to throw my regular bullpen. We were going to mess around with a cutter and a splitter. The splitter just stuck. I threw one splitter, and was like 'Oooh, that's a pretty good pitch.' and I was like, 'It feels good too.'"
Last week, teams made their 40-man roster additions. The Brewers added Cam Robinson, but they did not add Jarvis. Could he be selected in next month's Rule 5 draft?
Find out more including:
- How he was able to pitch in games during the summer of 2020, and how he was able to keep in touch with coaches and teammates.
- Why did he call the Arizona Fall League "the best experience I've had in my baseball life?"
- Working with the early-season TimberRattlers rotation that included Brandon Knarr, TJ Shook, Russell Smith, and Antoine Kelly.
- What was the jump from High-A to Double-A for him? ("It definitely got a lot hotter in Biloxi, I'll tell you that!)
- What are the things that he is going to work on heading into 2023?
- Find out what he enjoys doing in the offseason. The range of interests that he has is rather diverse and very interesting.
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