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Air Force junior pitcher Griffin Jax signs with Twins, military future remains unclear

June 14, 2016 Updated: June 14, 2016 at 9:45 pm
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Griffin Jax's Twitter profile now simply reads: Minnesota Twins Baseball.

How the U.S. Air Force factors into his future remains unclear.

The Falcons junior right-hander, picked in the third round (93rd overall) by the Twins last week, signed with the organization Tuesday evening for the MLB-recommended slot value of $645,000.

Jax will spend his three-week summer break from the academy pitching for the Twins' Rookie League affiliate in Elizabethton, Tenn., starting June 25.

By signing, the co-Mountain West Pitcher of the Year, forgoes his senior year of eligibility for Air Force baseball, but it is assumed he will return to close out his final year at the academy and then serve at least two years of active duty.

"I know we're going to start trying to find a plan in the next few months," Jax said in a message to The Gazette on Tuesday.

MLB.com reported that Jax is expected to have his "required five years of active duty deferred, as the Twins are hopeful he'll be in the reserves and won't have to leave the organization again once he graduates in May."

An Air Force representative on Tuesday said he wasn't sure where that information was coming from and that the academy was trying to correct it with MLB.

"We did our homework on this," Twins scouting director Deron Johnson told MLB.com after Minnesota made Jax the first pitcher it selected in the draft. "This is going to be a little unique to us. The good thing is that they're going to allow him to finish his senior year, which makes it a lot easier. Us taking him in the third round, I think they're going to give us some leeway."

Jax, a Cherry Creek native, went 9-2 with a 2.05 ERA this past season.

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