Panama City, FL--When Spring Training starts this February, keep your eyes out for a Mosley alum who just might find himself pitching for the Braves at Turner Field this coming Summer.
Specifically, Jaye Chapman, who has a legitimate chance to earn a spot in that Braves bullpen thanks to an off season call up to the team's 40 man roster, which means he starts Spring with the big league club. Chapman among those surprised at this move. "I definitely wasn't expecting it, you know. But I had a good year, and they were talking to me about maybe going to the big leagues, maybe not. But when they gave me that call, I was just elated."
That call comes in the wake of Jaye striking out 61 one hitters in 41 innings for the Braves Triple-A team in Gwinnett last season, with a 2.98 era. That completing a successful run up Atlanta's farm system from Danville, to Rome, to Mississippi and then Gwinnett. And now perhaps this Summer, Atlanta.
"You just, you've been dreaming about since you were a kid. And it's nice to know the Braves think that maybe somewhere throughout this year I can help them out in the big leagues. My expectations are to just go down and compete and do the best I can with the opportunities that I'm given. I don't know what to expect innings-wise, it just depends on my performance."
When you watched Jaye pitch at Mosley, his talent was obvious, and he wasn't cocky, but very confident. His friends in big league ball, like Mosley alum David Herndon, now a reliever for the Phillies, with whom Jaye's working out this Winter, have encouraged Chapman to maintain that confidence, and then some.
"The thing that they've all told me, the consistent thing they've told me is that when I get there is to be aggressive. You don't want to go there and be apprehensive, be hesitant and scared. They said that you'll regret that the rest of your life. So when I get there, get the opportunity, just be aggressive. And be a go-getter and really believe in yourself."
Jaye says he'll likely get 5 or 6 innings in before the first cut, then another 5 or 6 if he makes that, and so on. He reports to Kissimmee in mid-February.