Unhittable Jobe strikes out six in four frames at Double-A

April 26th, 2024

There is little that isn't impressive about . The 6-foot-2, 190-pounder cuts an imposing figure atop the mound and that's before he even delivers a pitch. When Jobe does unleash his upper-90s heat, or a sweeping 70-grade slider or a changeup that drops off the table, he profiles as a future ace.

To that end, he isn't shy about what he's hoping to accomplish in 2024.

"I want to pitch in the big leagues this year," Jobe said. "That is where my mind is at. I have the stuff and ability to dominate when I'm out there and I feel like I can do that. We'll see what happens down the road, but that is where I want to be at some point this year."

It's hard to argue with MLB's No. 22 prospect, who took another step toward reaching that lofty goal Thursday. Jobe issued a leadoff walk and then retired 12 consecutive batters -- a season-high six via the strikeout -- in his best outing of the year in Double-A Erie's 3-2 extra-inning win over Harrisburg at UPMC Park. Dating back to his previous outing against Akron on April 13, Jobe has set down 23 of the last 24 he's faced.

The 21-year-old walked leadoff hitter Robert Hassell III and the Nationals' No. 8 prospect promptly stole second base, but Jobe was on cruise control after that. He struck out the next three batters to end the frame, getting Top 100 prospects Brady House (No. 44) and Yohandy Morales (No. 98) swinging.

"I felt good. All of my pitches were good," Jobe said. "I think I was overthrowing a bit at the beginning, but I pulled everything in and went from there."

Jobe fanned three more and needed just 38 pitches to complete four innings for the second consecutive start. The performance marked the longest outing without allowing a hit in his professional career. Opponents are just 7-for-49 (.143) with one extra-base hit against the Texas-born hurler.

Ranked as MLB's No. 2 right-handed pitching prospect, Jobe looked mortal through his first three outings of the season. Although he was anything but poor, he entered his latest start with a 3.72 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP, in large part because of an uncharacteristically high eight walks in 9 2/3 innings.

"I look back to last year and I didn't walk many guys," Jobe said. "This year, I just look at it as it's early in the season and I'm adjusting to new things. It's certainly not an excuse, but I've moved over from the first-base side of the rubber to the third-base side. It's all part of the adjustments and feeling more comfortable. I've felt a lot better these last two starts."

That sentiment coincides with his numbers -- Jobe has walked a pair in his last two starts after issuing seven free passes in his first two -- which is more in line with his reputation and a staple of his pro success. The third pick in the 2021 Draft has amassed a 2.6 BB/9 ratio in his career, including a sterling 84/6 mark across four Minor League levels in 2023.

Jobe had some extra support on hand Thursday. His father, Brandt Jobe, is a professional golfer playing on the PGA Champions Tour, but he made the trek to Erie to watch his son deliver his finest outing of the young season.

"It was awesome to have him here," Jobe laughed. "I hadn't seen him for a bit so it was definitely special that he was here.

"I think I'm going to tell him that if I'm going to pitch like that when he's around, he needs to be at all of my starts."