Draft Prospect Q&A With Jesse Roth
I was able to get in touch with Jesse Roth recently and he was kind enough to answer some questions for Big League Futures. Roth, a righthander from New Jersey, is one of the top prep players in the northeast. For more on Roth, check out his draft profile.
Matt Grabusky: How old were you when you started playing baseball?
Jesse Roth: I don’t think I could even give an exact age as to when I started playing baseball. For as long as I can remember I have been playing. My dad played football in college and although I played for a little it never really caught on with me. Baseball has been my thing for 17 years
MG: When did you realize that a future in the sport was a legitimate possibility?
JR: I really didn’t realize I had any real future in the sport until the summer after my sophomore year. Things escalated pretty quickly through those first two years of high school. Baseball went from something I loved and played for fun, to something that my parents I decided I would use to more easily get into an ivy league school, eventually to the point where I was getting interest from all the top college programs in the country. That summer after my sophomore year I was blessed to get such attention and then was able to commit to the University of Virginia. From that point on my parents and I realized I really could have a future in baseball and we started looking forward to the draft
MG: Can you discuss your pitches and where you believe they are in terms of their development?
JR: As far as pitches go, I throw a 4 seam fastball, a 2 seam fastball, a circle change, and a 11/5 curve. My 4 seam has good downward angle and some pretty good run naturally because i throw from a relatively high arm slot but when I throw my 2 seam I can get some crazy amount of movement, I would say its probably a lot like a hard sinker. My changeup is probably my favorite pitch to throw and something that has some a long way from when i first started pitching my freshman year. My curveball is something that I am really working on the most this off season. Scouts have told me that it has good spin so im just trying to stay more consistent with it
MG: Is there a pitcher in the Majors who you would compare yourself with or who you model yourself after?
JR: I think someone who I can see myself being compared to is a guy like Jeremy Hellickson. He is a young guy who is extremely effortless in his mechanics and poised on the mound. Everything he does is done with a lot of ease and those are some characteristics that I believe I possess as well.
MG: Who has had the most influence on your baseball career?
JR: The one person who probably has had the most influence on my baseball career is my dad. Ever since I was old enough to take the sport seriously he has done everything within his power to make sure I am getting better. From finding the best trainers, best pitching coaches, and best teams to introducing me to people who can be role models for me and things like that. Also, him being a physical therapist has really aided in my training and arm care. I really don’t think I would be where I’m at right now without him
MG: What are the best experiences that you have had on a baseball field?
JR: I have had a ton of great experiences on the baseball field. The oldest competitive memory I can remember was in the Cooperstown Dreams Park tournament when my 12u team was seeded like 75th in the playoff pool and we ended up playing 5 games in one day and making it all the way to the sweet 16. It was probably one of the craziest tournament situations I have ever been in. Most of the other cool experiences on the field took place this past summer, namely PG National, East Coast Pro, and Area Code Games. Any time all the best players in the country get together in the same place and you can play in front of hundreds of scouts, really cool things are going to happen
MG: You have played with alot of talented players, what players have really stood out to you?
JR: As I mentioned before I have been able to play with all the best players in country here and there over the past two summers and a lot of players have stood out to me. One player who has definitely stood out to me for as long as I can remember, who is also a good friend of min, is Rob Kaminsky. I grew up playing with Rob on the Jersey Bulldogs and since we were probably about 8 he has never failed to be impressive with his ability. For anyone who doubted that he would continue playing at the highest level you can just wait until the draft. In addition, playing on the Evoshield Canes over the summer with some of the best in country was awesome. Guys like Andy McGuire, Connor Jones, and Canaan Cropper just to name a few were not only great ball players but great people who all have a bright future in this game
MG: If baseball ended tomorrow, you would?
JR: If baseball ended tomorrow I would probably have to take up another sport. There is just no way I could end my athletic career this early. It would probably have to be basketball or football. The competitive atmosphere of sports like baseball, basketball, and football is just something that cant be replaced. Outside of sports I am looking forward to probably majoring in pre-med in college and pursuing a career in orthopeodics
MG: What is something that baseball fans would be surprised to learn about Jesse Roth?
JR: Baseball fans would probably be surprised to learn that I go to a really academically rigorous private high school that was ranked number two in the nation by forbes. Also, that two of my favorite hobbies are reading and rapping. Theres a recording studio in my school so my friends I go down there and make tracks and stuff. Its pretty good time
I would like to thank Jesse for taking the time to answer these questions for BLF and our readers.