Long Island Pitching Standout Becomes First Known Orthodox Jew Picked In MLB Draft

A Long Island native is looking to make history as he attempts to become the first Orthodox Jewish ballplayer to make it to the Show after being chosen in the third round of the MLB Draft.

Jacob Steinmetz, a right-handed pitcher from Woodmere in Nassau County who stars at the Elev8 Baseball Academy in Florida, was picked by the Arizona Diamondbacks with the sixth pick of the third round (77th overall) of the draft on Monday, July 12.

The 6-foot-6, 220-pound 17-year-old Steinmetz is believed to be the first known practicing Orthodox Jewish player to be chosen in the MLB Draft.

Steinmetz previously committed to play at Fordham University, so he could potentially wait to start his rise to the Major Leagues.

According to scouts, Steinmetz’s repertoire includes a fastball that can sit in the mid-90s and a plus curveball. His draft position has a slot value of $805,600.

Before going o the Elev8 Baseball Academy in Delray Beach, Steinmetz starred for his hometown high school team, The Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaway on Long Island.

In a New York Post report, Steinmetz said that he keeps the Sabbath and eats only kosher food, but plays during the Sabbath and on Jewish holidays, though he walks to games during the Sabbath rather than taking transportation, stating that he will make travel arrangements in advance to avoid any conflict.

“There’s a difference between being committed, doing all this hard work, and having this extra layer,” Steinmetz’s summer coach, Daniel Corona, said. “I don’t know if there’s ever going to be another Jacob, as far as this whole process goes.

“He set an example that anything is possible as far as being committed to multiple things at once and still believing in yourself, your dreams, to make them happen.”

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