Featuring a wicked breaking ball and a fastball that accelerates to 90-plus miles per hour, dominant Concordia University right-handed pitcher Jake Fosgett put himself on the radar of professional scouts this past spring. Though slender at 6-foot-3, Fosgett unleashes a violent, sweeping curveball that helped result in a 17-strikeout game and more than 100 total punch outs in 2021. Over five years in the program, Fosgett developed into one of the nation’s best.
A GPAC Pitcher of the Year campaign made Fosgett a possible Major League Baseball draft pick. However, Fosgett did not hear his name called this week as 20 rounds of the 2021 MLB Draft were held July 11-13. So what’s next, you ask?
“I didn’t get drafted obviously. There was more talk about a free agent signing afterwards,” Fosgett said. “The scouts I have been in contact with were saying it’s not going to happen so they recommended some Indy (Independent League) ball teams for me to go out and compete with for the rest of this year. They wanted to evaluate how I would do against that level of competition. The conversations I’m having right now are about playing for a nonaffiliated minor league team or start a job and build a career. I’m still stuck between those two.”
Now back in his hometown near San Diego, Calif., Fosgett provided an update in a conversation that took place on Thursday (July 15) morning. The “Atomic Twig” (as he goes by on Twitter) has options to look at after he graduated from Concordia with a business degree. Fosgett’s return to the baseball program in 2020-21 also allowed him to begin working on his Master’s in Business Administration. As Fosgett noted on senior day, he would love to work for a major league team in a business capacity someday.
Whether the pitching career continues or not, Fosgett will always have a phenomenal college experience to look back upon. He can handle a little adversity, as he did in a turbulent 2020 that was affected by more than just COVID-19. Fosgett admits he wasn’t sure his arm would hold up to allow him to ever be an effective starting pitcher again. Those mental and physical struggles made ’21 all the more rewarding.
Said Head Baseball Coach Ryan Dupic, “As good as he has been, his ability to be resilient through injury challenges while continuing to work hard and be a great teammate are what I’m most proud of about Jake. He has a strong passion for excellence and will be a tremendous asset to all who are around him in the future.”
Fosgett managed to navigate five or more innings in six of his outings for the 2021 NAIA World Series qualifying Bulldogs. After May of 2020, Fosgett could have walked away with his degree and could have decided to no longer deal with potential pain in his right arm. No one would have faulted him for it. But look at what he would have missed out on – memories of dogpiles, championship celebrations and a trip to Lewiston, Idaho, for the NAIA World Series.
“The dogpile in Bellevue,” says Fosgett of what he’ll remember most fondly about his final college season. “May 20 of 2021 will probably go down as one of the best days of my life. We faced so much adversity as a team. We had so many guys dealing with a shoulder issue, an ankle issue, an arm issue or something. It was so cool to see everyone grit and grind through it. Taking two from Bellevue and getting to dogpile on that field was one of the coolest moments of my life. In my freshman year, those things weren’t even a conversation.”
As both have joked about, Dupic first fell in love with Fosgett’s curveball. Incredibly, Dupic pulled Fosgett and current member of the Milwaukee Brewers organization Jason Munsch out of California as part of the same 2016-17 recruiting class. That stellar duo resided at the top of the rotation in 2019 when Concordia won its second GPAC title under Dupic. Fosgett says he remains in touch with Munsch, who pitches for the Class A Carolina Mudcats.
In 2021, Fosgett took over the role of staff ace from Munsch. In 56.2 innings of work, Fosgett recorded a miniscule 1.43 earned run average, went 9-1 and piled up 101 strikeouts while allowing opposing batters to hit just .153. In 51 career appearances at Concordia, Fosgett amassed 247 strikeouts, second most in program history behind only Munsch.
Fosgett gives much of the credit to Dupic, who is like a proud father. Says Fosgett, “I think Coach Dupic was instrumental in giving me the tools to constantly get better. I’m the man I am today in large part because of him. It also came down to attention to detail, following routines and doing a whole bunch of stuff to get my body to be a better pitcher – as well as my mind.”
The mental game seemed to play a large role in the success of Fosgett, who had to rebuild confidence after 2020. He achieved that aim so well that Dupic fielded inquiries from more than 10 major league organizations regarding Fosgett. At least three of those organizations sent scouts to watch Fosgett pitch. As Dupic will tell you, no baseball player in the area, at this level, generated more professional interest than Fosgett did in 2021. Baseball America rated Fosgett as the 13th best draft prospect coming out of the state of Nebraska (high school and college).
In the near future, Fosgett will make a decision that will guide his future. “If I decide I want to take this route, it’s going to take a lot of grinding. If I do reach the goal of signing as a free agent (with an MLB organization), there’s going to be plenty of grinding after that too. The thing to consider is how my arm will hold up. On the job side, it’s not baseball so I won’t enjoy it as much, but it’ll start a career for me.”
Without an incredible 2021 season, such possibilities would not have been on the table. Regardless of what the future holds, Fosgett has left a lasting mark on Concordia Baseball. As Dupic said, “He’s had a tremendous impact on our program.”