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Last Night A 19 Year Old Orthodox Jew Struck Out Manny Machado In The WBC

Before I start on Steinmetz, a little ditty about my weird brain: anytime I see/read/hear the word "orthodox" - and it doesn't matter in what context, be it Orthodox Jew, Russian Orthodox, Southern Orthodox, Greek Orthodox, etc. - I INSTANTLY think to the cut scene in Seinfeld where Estelle screams, "LATVIAN ORTHODOX??!?!?" after she finds out George is converting to it solely to impress a chick:

So that word is near and dear to my heart, as it always is accompanied with a laugh courtesy of the two greatest TV parents of all time. 

I also don't know shit about religion, so I also assume anyone who is Orthodox anything basically lives in their place of worship, which makes Jakob Steinmetz not just ringing up Machado (and Jeremy Peña and Gary Sanchez), but being a pretty highly regarded prospect all the more impressive, as he was a 3rd round pick out of HS by Arizona.

This was a DM I got on the kid last night from someone who grew up with Steinmetz: 

So there ya go my friend!!! It also sounds like this was all a part of the plan for Steinmetz:

So good on him for setting a goal and conquering it. 

But only a part of me is writing this because of how rare it is for an Orthodox Jew to break into not just professional sports, but advanced level sports as a whole. Off the top of my head, the only other example I can remember is an Orthodox Jew basketball player at Northwestern like 8 years ago. 

The rest of me is writing this because he's an actual prospect with actual shit. No, I've never heard of him until last night, but fired up the YouTube machine to check out his highlights:

There is a LOT to like from this kid. His fastball has life; you can see the ride and carry it has on camera. Shit pops. 95MPH with a loose arm action from that big ass frame? That tight ass slider? Yeah, those will play. His mechanics are wonky and he lacks coordination and repeatability in his delivery right now, which is why you see him with 20 walks in 24 career innings, but that shit is all fixable and could/should come with time as he matures both mentally and physically. 

The rest of his shit? That's the shit that's hard to teach. Some would even say you can't teach it. TL/DR - he's not some token draftee. He's got a starter frame and very projectable "shit". 

It'll be cool to see how he ascends over the next handful of years. This WBC has had a lot of great storylines like this. This kid might not ever see The Show, he's still got a looooong ways to go, but he saw future Hall of Famer Manny Machado in the World Baseball Classic and rung his ass up though. At the very least, he'll have that story in his back pocket for the rest of his life. Hope that's not the case though and Jacob sees Manny again in 3-4 years in a non-exhibition game. My guess is that will happen based on his pure "shit" alone. 

The WBC is awesome and that is a fact. We even got freaking bullpen catcher's getting in on the action!!!

But this story is about Jacob. So shout out Jacob and his crew in 5 Towns!! Congrats from my heathen ass not just to Jacob, but to all of yous