Q&A with Jake Ferguson on His Path, Memories, and Future Aspirations
In the dynamic world of baseball, Jake Ferguson’s journey emerges as a vivid portrayal of commitment, skill, and the unwavering support of the baseball community in Queensland. Having previously played at the 2020 Australian Youth Championships and clinched gold with his team, Jake is now back in the USA, gearing up to start the Spring Season at Cowley College, Kansas. As he continues to leave his mark, his impact extends far beyond the field, resonating with aspiring players and the broader baseball community.
Q1: Can you take us back to the beginning of your baseball journey? What drew you to the sport, and at what age did you first step onto the diamond?
My baseball journey began shortly after moving to Queensland from WA where I played a bit of T-ball. Looking for a summer sport, we found a local baseball club (Wests bulldogs ) just down the road from my house. I always had a love for baseball, being born in Texas and watching it a lot as a kid, but it wasn’t till I was 12 that I began playing.
Q2: Share a bit about your playing days in Australia. Which clubs did you play for?
I initially stated playing baseball at Wests Bulldogs, were I played up until I was about 15. I then made the move to Pine Hills Lighting for my u18 seasons as well as to play A grade.
Q3: Could you share insights into your current endeavours?
I’m currently at Cowley County CC in Arkansas city, Kansas as a freshman. I’m studying physical therapy, as well as getting better each day within such a fantastic program under an excellent coaching staff and playing alongside a loaded class.
Q4: Reflecting on your journey so far, could you pinpoint a few standout moments?
Without hesitation the most memorable moment of my baseball journey thus far has been representing team Australia at the u18 world cup in Florida. The entire process from getting selected at the state title tournament after I fractured my hand in game, was a race against time to rehab my hand, an extremally rewarding process to be selected in each stage of the process to make the final 20man. Some other honourable mentions would be winning gold at the 2020 AYC with the Queensland state team and going 14-0 to start the fall season at Cowley.
Q5: How did the Baseball Queensland pathways contribute to your growth, both as a player and an individual?
BQ had a massive impact on my pathway and growth as both a player and a person. Initially I started out in the Athlete Development Program (ADP) squad, witch at the time was the first step in being identified for state selection and really set me up to have a solid foundation as a player as set the tone for the expectations and work ethics required to progress. Then after my first state selection, I made the state development squad that further helped me develop and improve my game. To then finally after making the national team, be a part of the performance squad that by far had the biggest impact on my develop with specialty in my readiness for college and the world cup. Having the opportunity to have access to such a great facility such as the cricket Australia facility, combined with the coaching expertise’s overseen by Shayne Watson had a massive impact on my development and improvement on field and in the weight room. Aside from the on field support, BQ also provided me unwavering support through injury as well as aiding me in my college commitment.
Q6: What specific skills or aspects of your game have you been diligently refining to enhance your performance at the college level?
Recently a big part of my development has come by working on some slight mechanical changes in my receiving and set up behind the plate, as well as the mental approach in the batters box.
Q7: Choosing a baseball college is a significant decision. What factors led to this choice, and how did your journey through Baseball Queensland pathways prepare you for this unique opportunity?
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always had the goal of playing collegiate baseball to then move on to professional baseball. Throughout the journey of getting identified by colleges and teams, BQ provided me with not only great references and contacts. But also, guidance and advice in how to navigate negations, terms of scholarships and making sure I find the right school for me.
Q8: Throughout your journey, who have been your guiding lights or role models?
Throughout my journey I’ve been extremely lucky to practice and play with some special ball players. Some of the most memorable being my BQ coach throughout most of my baseball journey, Shayne Watson. As a former catcher he provided a wealth of knowledge for my specific position, however his teachings of ethics and standards is something I admire and try to implement into my game every time I take the field. Another role mode that had a huge impact on the mental side of my game is former teammate Ash Anderson, a player who had relentless work ethic, the bravery to make changes in order to help the team and the mental fortitude to always look on the Brightside and stay positive in a game were failure in inevitable.
Q10: Any words of advice for aspiring players, both young and those who may have rediscovered their passion for the sport?
The best player in the world show up every day, something I’ve learnt is that you can’t control everything with an emphasis on baseball and results. So, at the end of the day, all you can do is show up and give it everything.
Jake Ferguson’s journey is not only inspiring for the baseball community but also for Queensland. He’s like a guide, showing the way for new players and bringing pride and inspiration to everyone in the Queensland baseball community.