I recently had the opportunity to talk to Pittsburgh Pirates prospect Jase Bowen and ask him a few questions.
Bowen grew up in Toledo, Ohio. In high school, he was a two-sport star, excelling at baseball and football. Bowen was so good at football that he had an offer from Michigan State to play wide receiver. Nevertheless, he decided to go the baseball route after the Pittsburgh Pirates drafted him in the 11th round of the 2019 MLB draft.
That year, Bowen played 36 games with the Pirates’ rookie ball team.
In 2021, Bowen played with Pittsburgh’s Low-A team. He batted a .693 OPS with 14 home runs.
In 2022, through the first 98 games this season, Bowen batted a .805 OPS with 14 home runs and 20 stolen bases. Bowen played well enough to be promoted to the Pirates’ High-A squad, the Greensboro Grasshoppers, where he has played the last 11 games (entering Wednesday’s play).
When fielding, Bowen has split time between center field and second base. He is a star athlete who has the tools to become a great utility player.
Bowen has shown he has the ability to get on base. On top of that, he is only 21. It’s clear he has a good chance of making the majors.
I asked Bowen about his experiences in the minor leagues thus far.
Here is the interview with Pittsburgh Pirates prospect Jase Bowen
Q: In the minors, does winning matter? Everyone wants to win, but is it a crucial step in advancing yourself as a player and advancing yourself in the farm system?
A: Winning matters at every level. I look at it like it’s really hard to flip a switch to want to win only at the major league level when you could develop winning all the way up. Yes, there are a lot of individual aspects in baseball but we all try to win every game.
Q: What is the biggest challenge you have faced in the minors so far?
A: The biggest challenge is playing every day whether playing good, playing bad, feeling good, or feeling sore. It’s the ability to tell your mind that you have to play and to find a way to get the job done.
Q: What’s been the best moment/experience you have had in the minors?
A: The best moment I’ve had is either when we won the (Low-A Southeast) championship last year or hitting a walk-off homer at the first game my parents saw me play.
Q: What’s been the most surprising part of the minor leagues so far?
A: Most surprising is how you have to take things and do them on your own. Pro baseball is a time where you have to grow up quickly and take control of your own career because, at the end of the day, you’re the one that cares if you succeed.
Q: What is the strongest part of your game?
A: Strongest part of my game I would say is my versatility to play anywhere on the field.
Bonus Q: Do you ever talk to other minor leaguers, and talk about your respective farm systems and how they compare? What players and teams do you talk about? Anything specific you talk about?
Bonus A: We really only recognize guys that are playing really well and that have good numbers and it’s more of a kudos to them for having a great year.