Jacob Bockelie the Newest Wild Thing
WASHINGTON, Pa. - The newest addition to the Wild Things' roster had a big summer for the Baseball Brilliance Sox in 2020 during pod play in Washington. Jacob Bockelie hit six home runs and drove in 21 runs. The former was tied for the pod lead in the category. Now Bockelie is set to begin his Frontier League career with Washington, as the team has announced his signing for the 2021 season.
Bockelie played in 17 games for the Sox and sported an on-base percentage of .416. His .621 slugging percentage was a top-five percentage in the pod as well. Of his six home runs, one was a grand slam and two came in one contest.
"Bockelie was among the most impressive players in our pod this past season," said president and general manager Tony Buccilli. "We saw a maturity in his offensive game and know he is focused on constant development. I believe he has the ability to be an impact rookie and inflict damage."
The decision to sign with the Wild Things was somewhat complex for Bockelie, as he said a couple of factors went into the decision.
"Mainly the environment that was shown during games, even during a pandemic was something that really caught my attention," said Bockelie. "The fans are really supportive in the area and the team culture looks like one that I wanted to be a part of. Seeing some of the signings that Tony and the rest of the team made so far this offseason also excited me from seeing the caliber of play from the pod and knowing what these guys can be capable of."
The contract comes fresh off the summer spent with Joe Torre and the Black Sox Pro Baseball organization.
"The opportunity that Joe presented to me was incredible and I can't thank him enough. To be able to be put on a large stage during what happened and be able to present myself and play to the best of my abilities wasn't exactly on my list of things that I planned on doing once lockdowns began," said Bockelie. "The fact that I was able to even play this past year was incredible and now having a job because of it is even better."
After a solid career from an individual and team standpoint at Shorewood High School, Bockelie matriculated to Pacific Lutheran University, where he played from 2015-2019. In 41 games in 2018, he hit .389 with eight doubles, eight homers and 49 RBI. He hit walk-off home runs in two games and was named Northwest Conference Player of the Year. He was also given d3baseball.com first-team honors and American Baseball Coaches Association Rawlings All-Region second-team honors. As a first-team All-NWC player in 2019, Bockelie hit .331 with 12 doubles, 10 home runs and 42 RBI.
Bockelie said the time spent at a Division III school allowed him to have a chip on his shoulder.
"I like to think of myself as a competitor who will give everything to win. As a guy who's been looked over in the past, coming from a D3 school, I've had a chip on my shoulder after producing two very strong college seasons and a pro season overseas in Switzerland," said Bockelie. "My expectations are high for myself going into this season, with hopes to make huge impacts for the team on the field with the bat and the glove and be a constant contributor."
He wants to compete for a playoff spot and for a championship.
"I know [I] and the guys around me are going to be working towards that common goal of bringing the title to Washington," said Bockelie. "For myself, my personal goal for the season is to simply be the best that I can be in all facets of life, whether that is on the field, interacting (hopefully) with fans and being a great representation to the organization that I can possibly be."
The Wild Things will be announcing a new addition to the roster Thursday to join Bockelie as the latest additions to Tom Vaeth's first team as manager of the club.
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