Jase Bowen’s moment came and went, but stay tuned…

By: 
Mark Griffin

It was a moment Jase Bowen had been waiting for all his life.
The Northwood resident and 2019 Central Catholic High School graduate was certain his name would be called during one of the three days of this year’s Major League Baseball Draft, held June 3-5. Yet when the Pittsburgh Pirates chose him with the 334th pick in the 11th round on June 5 …
“We were at my house with my dad (Ryan) and my friends, and we had teams calling me,” Bowen said. “Then the Wi-Fi that was hooked up to my TV went out.”
The Pirates phoned Bowen at 12:05 p.m. last Wednesday to inform him they had made him their pick.
“He said, ‘Hey, man, congrats. Did you see?” Bowen said. “I said, ‘see what?’ He said, ‘We just picked you. Welcome to the Pirates’ organization.’ I didn’t hear my name called because my computer went out. I didn’t really care at the time, but looking back it would have been cool to hear it.
“I knew I was going to get drafted, but not how high. I was told it would be in rounds three to five, but the way the draft fell I knew after the fifth round I was not going to get drafted that day.”
Pittsburgh selected 17 pitchers, 12 outfielders, seven infielders and six catchers during last week’s draft. Bowen, who was a four-year starter at shortstop for coach Jeff Mielcarek at Central Catholic, was drafted as an outfielder. Bowen said he has played outfield for his summer travel team, the Motor City Hit Dogs based out of Detroit, for three years.
The 6-foot-1, 195-pound Bowen, 18, said he grew up a Boston Red Sox fan.
“I wanted to go to a good organization that develops talent,” Bowen said. “The Pirates develop talent and they know my situation. I think it was a good time to go (in the draft) for me. I will probably play outfield for them. I played outfield in all of my summer showcases, and they saw me play in the summer. I could do both (positions), but I’m not sure. I know for sure they liked me in the outfield.”
Bowen was voted the state’s Division II Player of the Year by the Ohio High School Baseball Coaches Association this spring. He helped Central Catholic finish 18-9 by batting .550 (44-for-80) with nine doubles, six triples, one home run, 31 runs, 31 RBI, 15 walks and 14 stolen bases. He only struck out seven times.
“I said to people all through his high school career and for as long as I’ve known him, he’s a great athlete and people can see that with their own eyes,” Mielcarek said. “He leads by example and works hard at everything he does. He is ultra-competitive at everything he does; he’s just a winner. He’s a great athlete and a better person, and I’m extremely happy for Jase and his family.”
Mielcarek said the only time Bowen, a standout receiver for the Irish’s football team, ever played in the outfield was “when he stepped onto the outfield grass as a cutoff man.”
“I talked to a lot of scouts this spring,” Mielcarek said. “I told them I understood (Bowen playing in the outfield) and I said he will be a great outfielder because of his athleticism. He can be a shortstop at the next level because he has a great arm. I think he can play just about anyplace, and I think he’s going to get some chances.”
Bowen said he’s become familiar with the Pirates’ history.
“I was really close with their area scout,” he said. “I’ve never been to Pittsburgh, but they’ve had some greats like Roberto Clemente, and I like (former Pirates star) Andrew McCutchen. I know their Triple-A affiliate is the Indianapolis Indians from going to Mud Hens games.”
Bowen was a first-team All-Ohio baseball pick in D-I as a junior, and he was an honorable mention selection in D-II as a sophomore. In football he earned second-team all-state honors as a receiver last season, and he was a third-team All-Ohio punter in D-III as a junior.
Bowen has accepted a full-ride scholarship to play receiver for coach Mark Dantonio at Michigan State University. He said he will report to summer football with the Spartans on July 7, and he plans to study business finance or sports management. Bowen was ranked eighth in his senior class at Central Catholic, with a 4.8 GPA.
“I’m pretty excited,” he said. “I decided to get up there (to East Lansing) and be with my teammates and coaches. It will be cool.”
Bowen added that he knows he will eventually have to take a closer look at whether he wants to continue playing football or devote his life to making a run at the major leagues.
“As a kid I dreamed of being a professional baseball player,” Bowen said. “That was always my goal since I was about 5, when I started playing because of my brother (Connor). There is a lot to think about still. No decision has been made yet. Me and my family have been talking about it pretty extensively and nothing’s been set in stone right now. Me and coach Dantonio have been in a lot of contact and he has been very supportive of what I want to do. It’s been a hectic time and stressful. They’ve remained positive about it and I’ve remained positive about it.”
Should he choose to play pro baseball, Bowen said he’s ready to devote whatever time it takes to work his way through rookie ball and the minor leagues.
“I know the extent of how hard it’s going to be, the grind,” he said. “To play baseball every day would be awesome. It’s my love. It’s going to be a grind, but it’s also going to be some of the best years of my life.”
Bowen is the son of Robin and Ryan Bowen.
 
       
 

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