MEDFORD, Ore. – Kids tend to ask a lot of questions, and Jacob Acree’s inquisitive mind is a big reason he’s one of the best at his sport.
“Along with two of his brothers, he used to be the batboy for the Southern Oregon Riverdawgs,” his father Steve Acree said. “What Jacob would like to do is hang out alongside the first base dugout and talk to the opposing teams and even the coaches. There would be times where he would be asking the coaches, ‘Hey, how come on this count the fielder’s playing here instead of playing here?’”
“I would ask, ‘What do we do here? What do we do there?’” Jacob said. “They would say, ‘Work hard, chase your dreams and just never give up.’”
Jacob never gave up and never stopped asking questions. That helped him develop a better understanding of the game of baseball.
“He’ll continually ask me questions about what may have happened during my playing days,” Steve said.
Steve’s coached his son for years, and Dad’s love of the game became Son’s.
“He’d be on the internet watching YouTube trying to find tips and tricks on how to improve his game,” Steve said.
“MLB Network, watching baseball games from the 1980′s,” his mother Christi Acree added. “He doesn’t care. He just eats it, sleeps it, breathes it. He just loves it.”
That love and passion is what scouts at the Baseball Factory noticed in his tryout. The Baseball Factory is a program that guides elite baseball players throughout the country. Jacob qualified for a spring training program in Arizona. He’s one of only 40 kids his age to be invited.
“I spoke to the regional director for 35-40 minutes and was amazed at what he had to say about my son,” Steve said. “It was a lot more than what I thought he was capable of.”
At the Baseball Factory spring training, Jacob will practice nearly every day, take classes and probably ask a lot of questions.
“It’s helped me learn more and more every day because there’s so many situations and they all have to work quick,” Jacob said.
Jacob now finds himself in a new situation training with some of the best young baseball players in the country. The Acrees will attend the Baseball Factory Spring Training in January. They are currently raising money to fund the trip. If you’d like to contribute to the fundraising, visit http://www.gofundme.com/57z8q8.