Second Lieutenant Griffin Jax in the United States Air Force has a second job. This job now has him one step away from the biggest stage in its platform.
Jax, who was recently promoted to Triple-A by the Minnesota Twins, is currently serving under the World Class Athlete Program, allowing him to play baseball full time as his job in the military. The program is set to allow world class athletes to prepare for the upcoming Olympics, and because baseball is making a return to the games, Jax is able to utilize this to continue his career.
On the mound, Jax has been fast-tracked to Triple-A in just his fourth professional season and with 42 games prior under his belt. While he has performed well at every level in his career, he absolutely dominated Double-A in 2019, with a 2.69 ERA and a 1.126 WHIP, to go with a 3.27 SO/W in 18 starts prior to the promotion.
“Everything is going well,” Jax said. “I have had a pretty good season so far. I keep having success and competing every time I go out there. I am just trying to learn as much as I can from the guys up here. They have a lot more experience than I have. I am one of the younger ones on the team, so I pick their brains a little bit and see what I can do to keep making myself better.”
With the fast track that Jax has been on, he admits that it has been a bit of a whirlwind. However, one that he gladly embraces as he is working to become the first Air Force grad to play Major League Baseball.
“It has been a unique experience, with my whole service time commitment and obligation to the military,” Jax said. “It took a little bit of a side track there at the beginning, but now it is back on track. I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity to be here. I am thankful that the Twins really trust me and see me as an integral part of their organization to promote me to Triple-A to finish the year here. I take that with great confidence and keep doing what I need to do to put myself out there for successful outings.”
As for his experience to get to where he is, Jax said that his college experience, mixed with his service time has actually made him a better pitcher on the field.
“There were definitely a lot more stressors going on,” Jax said. “At college, I had the military side, but at the end of the day, I knew what I wanted to do, and that was play pro baseball. I knew what I had to get done outside of ball was school and military, so as long as I gave enough effort and put myself in the position to succeed in that, I could also put all my effort and energy to baseball. Yes, it was an extra thing to worry about, but it also helped build my mental strength and capacity to help in other aspects of baseball.”
While Jax was at the Air Force, being a pilot was never an aspiration for him. He studied Business Management and his currently working on his MBA in Accounting right now. He said that he really liked the class in his Business undergrad, so he started to focus on that for his masters. When baseball is all said and done, he said that he would like to become a CPA and open up his own shop. To get there, he is doing online through the season, and then in the off season, go on campus.