FAIRBORN — Jacob Webb thought he reached the pinnacle of baseball when one of his pitches hit 100 miles per hour in a recent Northwoods League baseball game.
“It was a super cool moment,” the 2017 Fairborn High School graduate said.
Turns out, Webb is looking at that play in the rearview mirror.
The recent Miami University graduate was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 14th round of the Major League Baseball draft on Tuesday and a day later signed his first professional baseball contract. The 6 foot, 5 inch righthander received a $122,000 signing bonus and is headed to the team’s spring training site in Fort Myers, Fla., Sunday morning to get going.
Webb, who spent two seasons at Sinclair Community College in Dayton before playing for Miami, was sitting in his basement watching the draft when an area scout for the Sox called.
“I answered as soon as I could,” Webb said. “He said we’re going to take you with our next pick in the 14th round. It was an awesome feeling. My heart dropped instantly into my stomach.”
Webb had a year of eligibility left with Miami, but since he had earned his degree in sport leadership and management, he was counting on becoming a pro.
“I was ready to go on and go this route,” he said. “I was kind of hoping for this situation.”
Webb called his contract negotiations with the Red Sox — which resulted in a three-year minor league deal — “quick and easy.”
“I honestly got more than I was expecting, really,” Webb said. “It was a quick sign for me. I was like, yep.”
The power pitcher holds three Fairborn records, including lowest earned-run average in a season (1.20), strikeouts in a season (71), and strikeouts in a career (200). He pitched in 18 games in relief for Miami this past season but also started games at Sinclair.
He doesn’t care whether the Red Sox use him as a starter or reliever.
“Whichever,” he said. “I bring a very experienced baseball player.”
An experienced baseball player who has some zip on his pitches. His fastball sits around 95-97 and he has a wicked slider, which he calls his “put away pitch.” Webb also has a change-up in his arsenal.
Despite that, he never really imagined he would become a professional baseball player.
“When I was a little kid I had no expectations of making it this far,” Webb said. “Last year is when it first started.”
During the COVID-shortened season of 2020 he led the RedHawks with six appearances. He posted a 2-0 record with 19 strikeouts in 14.2 innings. He also had a save. In 2021, Webb went 1-2 with a 2.08 ERA, while striking out 59 batters in 39.0 innings pitched.
That performance was enough convince the Red Sox to make the call.