Arizona State righthander Jason Jarvis was the top prep pitcher in Arizona in the draft class of 2006, and now he hopes to be one of the state’s top draftees in 2008. Jarvis, who earlier this week was ruled ineligible for the rest of the season, has issued a press release at his website, jasonjarvisbaseball.com, that he intends to seek entry into the 2008 draft.
Just because he wants to enter the draft doesn’t mean he’s in the draft yet, of course; Jarvis will petition the commissioner’s office for entry. According to the East Valley Tribune in Arizona, Jarvis has until March 21 to petition for the draft. (BA will have more on Jarvis’ chances as information becomes available.)
Jarvis was the Sun Devils’ closer last year and has shown both hitting and pitching prowess dating back to high school (Scottsdale’s Chaparral High, Connie Mack World Series), and he helped Arizona State to the 2007 College World Series. He ranked 74th on BA’s Top 200 Prospects in the draft class of 2006 but fell to the 25th round due to a commitment to San Diego. Negotiations with the Angels, who reportedly offered a six-figure signing bonus, quickly turned sour, and Jarvis appeared headed for San Diego. However he decommitted from USD, went to Chandler-Gilbert (Ariz.) CC for a semester, then enrolled at Arizona State, where he didn’t become eligible until last March. In fact, Jarvis nearly entered the draft last year, threatening to return to junior college if he didn’t become eligible at ASU.
Through it all, scouts have questioned his maturity and ability to stay on the field enough to bring his considerable talent to the fore consistently. ASU coach Pat Murphy has talked about how Jarvis needed direction, so much so that he wore a wristband with his daily schedule typed on it, much as a quarterback wears one with play calls on it.
The statement released Friday on the Jarvis website will do nothing to dissuade those scouts who already have their doubts about his maturity and makeup.
"A short time ago I requested a hearing to appeal a grade change which resulted in the A that I rightfully earned, being dropped to an XE on an Internet music course that I took in the fall of 2007," the statement read. "An XE grade indicates academic dishonesty which I did not commit. My appeal was upheld and I was exonerated for the academic dishonesty. However, the Herberger College of the Arts will not restore my grade back to the A that I rightfully earned, so I will get no credit for taking the 3 credit class. According to the NCAA regulations, I am now considered academically ineligible for the 2008 baseball season. I could stay in school and regain my eligibility next year, however, I am continually amazed with the inconsistent way the ASU administration randomly executes their rules to suit themselves with no care whatsoever for the student.
"So, rather than continue to struggle through the academic bureaucracy at ASU, I have decided to pursue a career in professional baseball, and I am currently in the process of petitioning the commissioner of MLB to approve me to enter this year’s amateur draft in June."
Coach Murphy told the Tribune, "It’s hard to see a young man who you care about have this part of his career taken from him. I hope the scouts saw what he can do in the time that he was here. He can have a good career in pro ball."
That much is true; with a fastball that sits in the low 90s in relief roles and an inconsistent but at times above-average breaking ball, Jarvis has the stuff to move through pro ball quickly, as well as above-average athleticism. But scouts have reasons to be concerned that he might bring some drama with him as well. For now, it appears the drama of his one-plus year at Arizona State is over.
Editor’s Note: This story has been corrected to remove an earlier reference to the Angels’ bonus offer to Jason Jarvis in 2006.
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