Jacob Hurtubise
(Mady Salvani/Army West Point Athletics via AP)

Prospect Jacob Hurtubise Embarking On Interesting Path To Pro Ball

There have been only two professional baseball players to have ever come out of the United States Military Academy. One of which is Jacob Hurtubise, a speedy Centerfielder who is currently in the Cincinnati Reds organization. His story is interesting, to say the least, filled with uncertainty and surprises along the way.

COVID-19 played no favors for Hurtubise when he graduated from West Point last year. He wanted to be apart of the 2020 Major League Baseball draft but faced obstacles. Because of the pandemic, there was a trimmed-down five-round draft. He didn’t stand a chance, unfortunately. Instead, he held his breath for the coveted free agency for draft-eligible players two days later.

I slept for two hours. Right when 9 o’clock hit, I had three teams calling my phone to wake me up. That’s a pretty good way to wake up if you’re not getting a lot of sleep.” -Jacob Hurtubise

He received three calls. One from his childhood favorite team the Cubs, the Indians, and finally the Reds. In the end, he chose Cincinnati due to their Minor League hitting coordinator, CJ Gillman. Gillman was an alumnus of the Air Force Academy and played with Jacob in the Patriot League. Gillman knew about Hurtubise’s talents and hustle and emphasized that to him. Jacob was sold.

With the pandemic in full swing, the only job Jacob took was at an Amazon warehouse. This was until the Reds invited him to a fall instructional league in Arizona. This set in motion his professional play.

Hurtubise’s prowess as a speedy player at West Point instantly showed in Arizona. He would stretch ordinary singles into doubles owing to his 105 career Military Academy stolen bases. This hustle is a statement in his attitude toward the game from West Point to go above and beyond.

We’re still kind of serving, in a way. It’s not the active-duty service you see most of my classmates participating in, but we still have an obligation to represent ourselves and to represent the military. There’s not a lot of people on active duty that are going to get the same spotlight as [pro athletes] are.” -Hurtubise

Justin, like many young ballplayers, is looking for direction this upcoming year. He will benefit from an actual Minor League Season even though he’ll perhaps be in a lower level like Single-A.

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