Zionsville’s Jacob Hurtubise Graduates to MiLB
One of Zionsville’s own, Jacob Hurtubise, outfielder, is recently signed with Major League Baseball (MLB) team the Cincinnati Reds. Hurtubise was not one of the players picked by the Cincinnati Reds in the five rounds of the MLB abbreviated draft. The draft was shortened from its normal 40 rounds to five due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
How a Little Leaguer Becomes a Minor Leaguer
Hurtubise, the son of Francois and Lisa Hurtubise of Zionsville, recently graduated from U.S. Military Academy at West Point with an impressive resume of achievements and well-deserved accolades. But before beginning his collegiate career, Hurtubise’s passion for America’s national pastime began on the Little League fields at Lions Park and continued to evolve as he played baseball at Zionsville Community High School (ZCHS).
While at ZCHS, Hurtubise earned the LV Phillips and Zionsville Mental Attitude Award, was a two-time Zionsville Baseball Principal Award recipient, a 2015 Indiana National Guard Academic Achievement Award winner, a member of the National Honor Society and finished in the top 5% of his class.
While attending West Point, Hurtubise batted .375 in 2019 as Army’s leadoff hitter and set academy single-season records for runs (71), walks (69, third in the nation) and steals (45), was second Division I in on-base percentage (.541) and earned defensive player of the year honors in the Patriot League. Hurtubise and his fellow teammates won back-to-back Patriot League tournament championships.
In last May’s championship game against archrival Navy, Hurtubise reached base five times, going 2-for-2 with three walks, stole a base and scored twice in a 4-3 win. He was also named tournament MVP after batting .522 and scoring an impressive eight runs in six games. He played five games in the shortened 2020 campaign and recorded four hits with four runs scored. Hurtubise claimed CoSIDA Academic All-America honors and finished his Army career as the program’s all-time leader in stolen bases and walks.
How Is COVID-19 Impacting MiLB’s Season?
The Minor League Baseball season was cancelled on June 30, 2020. The announcement came after MLB informed its affiliated MiLB teams that it would not be providing players in 2020—a first in the history of the MiLB organization.
“I’m doing everything I can to prepare myself for when we can return and play baseball,” Hurtubise shared. “I think the biggest thing to understand and what I’ve realized is that everything is out of our control as players. It’s in God’s control as to what ends up happening to us as players. But, we have to stay ready for whatever comes next. We’re not going to have a [minor league] season this year, so I just have to prepare for the next season, and that’s not a bad thing. For me, one of things that I’m trying to get better at over this summer through the winter season is my mobility and will try to become more flexible to create more longevity for myself going forward. In a sense, it could be a blessing, but we [players] want to be out in the field competing and playing against the best competition in the country. That’s the goal and what we are working toward.”
Preparing for the Big Leagues
While the MiLB may be taking a hiatus this year, Hurtubise—albeit not yet officially signed—has been proactively working with members of the Cincinnati Reds organization to stay fit and mentally sharp for next year’s season.
“While I’m enjoying time away from playing [baseball] and spending time with my family [parents and older brother, Alec], I know that once we get back, it’s going to be full speed ahead. But for now, it’s been nice hanging out with my family, especially since the last four years have been super busy.”
Hurtubise attributed what he has learned while attending West Point, managing his time between playing baseball, academics and military duties, to his ability to navigate through these uncharted waters with confidence. He also credited all of the coaches and support staff that have helped him achieve his successes thus far and for recognizing his raw talent and determination to be the best that he can be at all things in his life.
“Even though I haven’t officially signed my contract—deadline for signing is August 1—I’ve been conducting Zoom calls and have met a lot of people within the Reds organization. I’ve been meeting with strength coaches, dieticians and hitting coordinators. It’s been exciting, and I feel confident in the decision that I’ve made. The Reds organization has welcomed me with open arms into their organization, and that makes you feel so much more comfortable as a player. I’m excited to be in this organization and to see what happens. And it’s nice to know that I have family, friends and fans back home [in Zionsville] who will support me.”
We all look forward to the day the Reds promote a Zionsville, Indiana Day in Cincinnati when fans can see Hurtubise playing alongside another Zionsville resident, Reds starting catcher Tucker Barnhart.
HONORS/AWARDS *Partial list*
2020 CoSIDA Academic All-America Second Team
2020 Patriot League Preseason Player of the Year
2019 ABCA/Rawlings Second Team All-American
2019 ABCA/Rawlings First Team All-Region
2019 Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year
2019 All-Patriot League First Team
2019 Academic All-Patriot League Team
2018 All-Patriot League First Team
2018 Academic All-Patriot League Team