The senior outfielder and captain has been a key performer in EA’s batting order, with a .364 batting average, .523 slugging percentage, 12 RBIs, 11 walks and 12 stolen bases as of April 25. Jaszcz has come up with a number of key hits this spring, and took the mound to register a save in the Churchmen’s first Inter-Ac victory this season. Last spring, as the team’s starting centerfielder, Jaszcz posted a .392 on-base percentage with six stolen bases and received All-Main Line baseball honors. He is the EA boys’ winner of the Inter-Ac Directors Award this spring. Next fall, Jaszcz will attend Holy Cross University, where he will play baseball.
Q: What do you think has been the most important thing you’ve learned recently regarding hitting?
A: Something that’s been a goal of mine every game is to get to solid contact on my first at-bat. Getting a good feel for my swing at contact can set the rest of my at-bats in the right direction. Specifically this year, I feel much more relaxed in the box. I started the season hitting the ball a lot the opposite way, and getting more comfortable and better timing has helped make it click so far.
Q: As a hitter, after facing a pitcher a couple of times in a game, you probably have a better idea of what he’s going to throw you late in a game. Can you give us an example of how this has worked in your favor?
A: Going along with how I’ve been hitting this year, one of our coaches always talks about how our timing isn’t going to be perfect on our first at bat of the game. Fouling off pitches and working an at bat early on has been very helpful for me late in the game. One game this season, I had three at-bats against the same pitcher, and worked him for seven 3-2 pitches. I was able to foul off pitches I didn’t like and was able to get two productive at bats, a walk and sac-fly. On my third at bat, my timing was good on his fastball and was able to find a barrel and hit an RBI double. I like to be patient and wait for the pitcher to make a mistake.
A: You were moved from center field to right field this spring. What are the biggest challenges to playing right field, as opposed to center field?
A: Getting reads off the bat in right field was a challenge at first. In center field, you play directly straight up, compared to being off to the side, which was something I wasn’t used to. But knowing that playing right field was best for the team’s success, I wanted to make sure I do my best there.
Q: What does being the EA boys winner of the Inter-Ac Directors’ Award mean to you?
A: It is an amazing honor to be able to win the award and represent EA. I wanted to thank all my coaches. Coach [Tom] Grandieri, Coach Shanahan, and Coach [Todd] Fairlie. Being coached by them has taught me how to lead and play on a competitive team. I am proud to be among the past EA winners, they are all examples on how to Live the Stripes.
Q: What aspect of your game did you work on most during the past off-season?
A: I continued where I left off in the summer, in a good groove at the plate. It was something that I really focused on during the winter months. I also wanted to continue in the weight room while I was playing in my other seasons. I focused a lot on mobility and core strength making sure I was able to compete every day.
Q: Who have been your biggest baseball mentors, and what was the most important thing each of them taught you about baseball?
A: I started playing baseball pretty young with my dad being my coach. He has been my biggest fan, teacher and critic when it comes to baseball. He continued to be my coach into Little League. He’s taught me to push through adversity and keep playing hard, no matter the slump. My grandfather has also been an important baseball mentor for me. His knowledge for the game and our frequent conversations about my games has helped me grow my love for the game beyond just playing it. He always says, “Just hit it hard” and “3 hits out of 10 get you in the Hall of Fame”. He’s always willing to talk and help me analyze my game. Lastly, all of my high school coaches, specifically Coach Grandieri and Coach Brady, who started at EA my freshman year and have coached me all throughout. They have taught me so much about seeing the game through different aspects. Seeing how all the stuff they talked about when I was a freshman translate as the years went, has made me a better player and leader as we found our identity as a team.
Q: Who is your favorite baseball player and why?
A: My favorite baseball player is Max Scherzer – it is really fun to watch him pitch. His intensity and the way he exerts his energy on the mound is unmatched to any other player.
Q: What is your favorite ballpark and why?
A: My favorite ballpark is definitely Citizens Bank Park. There’s nothing better than going and watching the Phils win. The crowd is always awesome and the Philadelphia energy is high.
Q: You wear uniform jersey No. 18 for EA baseball – was there a reason you chose this number?
A: It was a number I picked early on and it was the number my dad wore throughout high school. I choose different numbers for each sport, but 18 was the one that always stuck with me.
Q: Tell us a little about your pre-game preparation the day of a game.
A: I’m very particular about how my game day goes. I like to be able to be loose and have fun but make sure I’m locked in. I’ll always make sure I have everything out and ready, I like to make sure if things are working I stick with them. I’ll try to find time in the day to get a longer stretch in and drink a ton of water.
Q: Other than baseball, what other extracurricular activities do you participate in at Episcopal Academy?
A: EQV, the senior leadership group; Alumni101; sophomore seminar teacher; and volunteer coordinator for football.
Q: What is your favorite academic course at Episcopal Academy? What do you think you might like to major in at Holy Cross University? Is there a career field that particularly interests you at the present time?
A: I’ve recently found an interest in Economics. I’m taking a course this year, and it is most likely what I will major in at college. I didn’t have that much knowledge going into this course, but I have become very intrigued with it all. I will definitely look for more opportunities or internships in college to expand my knowledge.
Fun facts – Jake Jaszcz
Favorite book: The Science of Hitting, by Ted Williams.
Favorite TV show: Ozark.
Favorite pre-game pump-up song: There he go- Kodak Black.
Favorite team: Phillies.
Favorite place to visit: Florida.
Favorite pre-game meal: Kit Kat.
Person I most admire, and why: “My MomMom, I grew up with her showing me kindness and manners. She always told me to treat others as you want to be treated.”
Family members: parents Todd Jaszcz and Claudia McGoldrick, siblings Dylan and Morgan.
(To be selected as Main Line Boys Athlete of the Week, a student-athlete must first be nominated by his coach.)
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