Jared Koenig Joins ‘From Phenom To The Farm:’ Episode 81

Image credit: (Photo by Brandon Vallance/Getty Images)

Throughout every up and down, and road less traveled, Jared Koenig always felt like he could
make it to the big leagues.


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“That was always the number one goal, and I strived for it,” said Koenig. “I was never the
biggest player, or hardest throwing player, but I was always effective at getting outs and doing
everything I needed to, to help the team win.”

Following a standout career as a left-handed pitcher at Aptos High School in California, Koenig
had some Division 1 interest, but chose to instead head to Central Arizona College. He
committed to Old Dominion during his sophomore season, but after being selected in the 35 th
round by the White Sox, Koenig figured he’d be heading to pro ball. The White Sox, after going
far over-slot to sign 1 st round pick Carlos Rodon, had other plans.

“They were like, ‘Hey, owner said we’re not going to sign anymore guys,’” said Koenig. “I was
like welp, guess I’m going to school.

Koenig played a year at Old Dominion before finishing up his college career at Cal State
Monterey. He showed flashes of velocity and posted good numbers during his senior season, but
also struggled with injuries. He went undrafted in the 2016 draft, and found himself at a

“I was in a weird spot, like I don’t know what to do, because all I’ve ever done is baseball,” said

Unwilling to close the book on his baseball career, in 2017 Koenig caught on with the
Birmingham Bloomfield Beavers of the United Shores League, earning a whopping $600/month.

The Beavers released him after a few outings. Then came the Pecos League, with the Monterey
Amberjacks. Quality performance in Monterey earned him a promotion to the Salina Stockade,
the travel team for the American Association—a team that solely played on the road. Arduous
travel was inescapable with Salina, and in Koenig’s case, added insult to injury.

“We had a fifteen hour bus ride from Kansas City to Dallas. We get there, and at 3am, I get
released,” said Koenig.

He finished 2017 with the San Rafael Pacifics of the Pacific Association. One season, three
teams, and definitely no money.

“Money was non-existent,” said Koenig. “In the United Shores League, it was $600 bucks a
month, $300 went to rent, and you’re still getting taxed. When I got home, they sent the check,
and it was for $0. In the Pecos League I think I was getting $50 bucks a week, and we were
driving ourselves. So, you’re not actually making any money—you’re losing money every time.”

Koenig used it all as motivations, dedicating himself to actually learning how to lift, how to hold
his conditioning in-season, and saw his stuff tick up as a result. He continued to move up the professional baseball ladder, pitching his way from the Pacific Association to the Frontier
League, and then parlaying a 2.24 ERA in the Frontier League into an invitation to play in the
2019-2020 Australian Baseball League. Pitching for Auckland, Koenig kept getting hitters out,
and showing good lefthanded stuff and mound presence while doing it. The A’s noticed.

Oakland signed Koenig just before the 2020 MiLB season was cancelled due to the Covid-19
pandemic. For a guy who just three years earlier had been released by the United Shores League,
a cancelled season was just another hurdle.

He eventually got his shot in affiliated ball, and passed his first test with flying colors, jumping
to Double-A Midland and winning Double-A Central Pitcher of the Year honors. Koenig began
the 2022 season with Triple-A Las Vegas. In early June, longtime big league backstop Stephen
Vogt was rehabbing with Las Vegas, and stood up in the locker room for a speech—a speech that
ended with Vogt announcing Koenig’s promotion to the big leagues.

“I just put my head down,” said Koenig. “That was a tearjerker, I was pumped. Lifelong dream
was basically achieved from that point on.”

Koenig made ten appearances for Oakland in 2022 before signing with the Padres this past
offseason as a free agent. He’s currently pitching in the bullpen for Double-A San Antonio, still
ready to get the ball no matter which mound he’s on.

On the latest episode of ‘From Phenom to the Farm’ Padres lefthander Jared Koenig joins to
walk through his career from the Pecos League to the big leagues.

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