With baseball season underway, we had the chance to catch-up with former Diamond Dukes who are now playing professionally. The alumni gave advice, talked about what made JMU's program unique and goals for their seasons. Here is what 2011 draft pick Jake Lowery had to say.
What advice would you give to a college baseball player looking to go professional?
Obviously every college player wants to play at the next level, but it only happens to a special few. If you work hard, put in the time in school/baseball, and put up some good numbers then you will be recognized and seen by scouts. It's not really their decision to go pro until they get drafted.
What has been the biggest challenge and reward while playing professional?
The biggest challenge so far has been explaining the fact that you are in the minors and have to work your way up to the majors. It's not like football/basketball where you are on the team. You first must develop and hone your skills in the minor leagues before getting called up through the system. The biggest reward has been being able to say you are a professional athlete and get to experience and gain knowledge from the game’s best coaches. You get the chance to travel and see places that you would never be able to in a million years unless you were playing pro baseball. You get to travel the USA for free and see all types of cities and towns.
How did playing at JMU influence your baseball career?
While playing at JMU I had some great coaches who helped me refine and develop my skills to prepare me for life on my own in pro ball.
What made the JMU program unique while you were there?
We were unique because we had a great group of guys on the team. In any sport you build camaraderie with teammates but at JMU we had something special. We gelled so well together and I think that is why we had so much success in my three years there. We have records that won't ever be broken and I believe some of them are a direct correlation of how well we played and liked playing together.
What is your favorite memory from JMU baseball?
Winning the CAA tournament and going to the regional with all my teammates is by far my best memory. We established records and had a blast doing it.
What is your favorite memory from professional baseball?
My favorite memory of pro baseball so far has been making it to the playoffs and celebrating with the guys.
What are your goals for the upcoming professional season?
My upcoming goals for this season are to improve on numbers from last year, have fun along the way and play the game with all my heart.