Growing up in small-town Iowa Jake Stalzer dreamed of someday playing professional baseball. After a four-year college career Stalzer is now beginning that dream – albeit in a different setting – signing with the Tucson Saguaros of the independent Pecos League.
A native of Albia, Iowa (population of 3,782), which lies about 70 miles southeast of Des Moines, Stalzer played three years of varsity baseball as a pitcher/first baseman before moving on to Indian Hills Community College. After two stellar seasons the 6’3″ lefty pitcher signed to play at NCAA Division I Elon College in North Carolina.
Two years at Elon College saw many ups-and-downs for Stalzer, who did not give up an earned run in his first three start of 2014. Posting a 7-11 record, 5.73 ERA and 57 strikeouts in 127.1 innings pitched, the 23-year old now begins his pro career in Arizona.
The 10-team Pecos League has been around for six years now and the Tucson Saguaros are a new team for the 2016 season. J.D. Droddy is the manager, who many know from the 2013 FOX Sports mini-series The Pecos League when he was with the Trinidad Triggers.
“Our manager is known for advancing players to higher indy leagues, and also affiliated teams,” said Stalzer. “My goal is to advance to a higher level of ball, but I am extremely thankful for getting an opportunity to play for Tucson and am going to work hard, be a good teammate, represent Tucson, get the team and city some wins. When I do all of those things, good things will happen.”