Griffin Jax seems to have benefited from spring training.
The Air Force graduate was able to go through a full offseason of baseball this winter while serving under the military's World Class Athlete Program, and the results showed in his Double-A debut on Sunday.
Jax threw 4 2/3 shutout innings for Pensacola, striking out five. He issued two walks and gave up four hits. He threw 78 pitches, 46 going for strikes.
Over the past three years since going to Minnesota in the third round of the 2016 MLB Draft, the 24-year-old Jax had condensed his baseball schedule around obligations on active duty. As part of the WCAP, his assignment is now to be an athlete and train for possible inclusion on the 2020 U.S. Olympic team.
“Griffin was great,” Pensacola manager Ramon Borrego told the team's website after the game, which his team ultimately lost 2-1. “He gave us a really solid outing, but unfortunately we didn't back it up with offense.”
Jax has a career 3.34 ERA over 132 minor league innings.
As for the current Air Force baseball team, powered by slugger Nic Ready, it is 13-15 overall, 5-5 in Mountain West play and hosts Utah Valley for a two-game series at Falcon Field on Monday (3 p.m.) and Tuesday (1 p.m.).