Teen from Long Island is 1st known practicing Orthodox Jew drafted by MLB

2 weeks ago 8

WOODMERE, Long Island -- Jacob Steinmetz's blazing fastball helped marque him a shot draught trailblazer.

The Long Island autochthonal is believed to beryllium the archetypal known practicing Orthodox Jewish subordinate to beryllium selected by a large league team, going successful the 3rd circular - 77th wide - to the Arizona Diamondbacks connected Monday.

The 6-foot-5, 220-pound Steinmetz, from the hamlet of Woodmere, is simply a 17-year-old right-hander whose repertoire features a fastball that sits successful the mid- to upper-90s and a knee-buckling curveball. His draught banal roseate considerably portion playing for the Elev8 Baseball Academy successful Delray Beach, Florida, this twelvemonth aft antecedently competing for his precocious schoolhouse team, The Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaway.

"I was precise excited, besides having each my friends determination and small spot of my family, decidedly made it overmuch better," helium said.

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Steinmetz keeps the Sabbath and eats lone Kosher food, but plays during the Sabbath and connected Jewish holidays - though helium walks to games during the Sabbath alternatively than taking transportation.

"My family's OK with it, determination mightiness beryllium different families that wouldn't bash it," Steinmetz said. "I'll conscionable enactment astatine a edifice adjacent a tract and locomotion to the games."

His household really figured hoops would beryllium his sport, since helium is truthful tall, but by astir property 14, it became wide to him that helium loved the feeling of controlling a shot game, close connected the pitcher's mound.

Steinmetz said helium feels adjacent to God erstwhile he's connected the mound and helium hopes others successful his assemblage volition spot him arsenic a trailblazer.

"See that's it's imaginable to enactment to your religion and besides play precocious level shot astatine the aforesaid time," helium said.

No practicing Orthodox Jewish subordinate has made it to the large leagues.

The selections during the 9 rounds Monday were made by teams connected a league telephone aft the archetypal nighttime was a primetime lawsuit astatine Denver's Bellco Theater with MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred announcing the picks.

Major League Baseball moved the draught from June to July, including it successful the All-Star festivities.

Pittsburgh took Louisville slugging catcher Henry Davis with the No. 1 wide prime Sunday nighttime and got him a imaginable aboriginal batterymate to pb disconnected Day 2 by selecting New Jersey precocious schoolhouse lefty Anthony Solometo astatine No. 37.

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(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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