Yankees superstar Gerrit Cole becomes mentor to Tigers’ top pitching prospect

Gerrit Cole during an spring training section
Amanda Paula
Monday March 4, 2024

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The New York Yankees’ ace Gerrit Cole has taken Detroit Tigers’ pitching prospect Jackson Jobe under his wing, serving as a mentor to the highly-touted young hurler. Jobe, who was drafted by the Tigers in the first round of the 2021 MLB Draft, has been working closely with Cole during the offseason to refine his craft.

In the world of Major League Baseball, young prospects often look up to the game’s elite players as role models and sources of inspiration. For Jackson Jobe, the Detroit Tigers’ top pitching prospect, that admiration is directed toward Gerrit Cole, the New York Yankees’ ace and the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner.

What happened?

The New York Yankees' ace Gerrit Cole and the Detroit Tigers' pitching prospect Jackson Jobe

Jobe, who is ranked as the No. 25 prospect in baseball by MLB Pipeline, had the opportunity to pick Gerrit Cole’s brain during a recent spring training game between the Tigers and Yankees. The meeting was arranged by Tigers manager A.J. Hinch, who previously managed Cole during their time together with the Houston Astros.

Hinch, well aware of Jobe’s admiration for Gerrit Cole, made sure the 21-year-old non-roster invitee was part of the Tigers’ traveling squad for the game at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

“That’s cool,” said Jobe, clearly excited about the prospect of conversing with one of his idols. “That’s a guy I’ve looked up to for a very long time. So I was a little nervous going into it for sure. But when we started going, we talked about pitching for like 15-20 minutes nonstop.”

According to Steve Kornacki, an MLB expert, the conversation between Cole and Jobe covered a wide range of topics, from the mental aspects of pitching to the importance of staying prepared between outings. For Jobe, the experience was invaluable, as he soaked up as much knowledge as possible from the Yankees’ ace.

the Detroit Tigers' pitching prospect Jackson Jobe

“It was really cool. A lot of information — a lot of it away from the games, on going about your day-to-day life during the season, in practice, and more so being in it mentally as much as you can,” Jobe explained. “In between outings, getting as many game-like reps as you can. More so mentally than physically, honestly, because you can’t go out there ripping in ‘pens like you do in the games. That was the big takeaway for me.”

Gerrit Cole, who boasts an impressive career record of 145-75 with a 3.17 ERA over 11 seasons, has established himself as one of the premier pitchers of his generation. His ability to consistently perform at the highest level has made him a role model for young pitchers like Jobe, who aspire to emulate his success and professionalism.

“[He’s] probably the best pitcher of this generation,” Jobe said of Gerrit Cole. “That will usually do it. Yeah, and he’s a pro, the way he handles himself off the field as well as on the field. He commands respect with how he plays.”

While Jobe may have idolized other pitchers like Tim Lincecum during his youth, there’s no denying the impact that Cole has had on the young prospect’s development. As Jobe continues to work his way through the Tigers’ system, he’ll undoubtedly carry the lessons he learned from the Yankees ace with him, striving to emulate Cole’s work ethic and dedication to the craft of pitching.

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