STORY: 2019 SS/RHP Jacob Speaker (All Saints)

Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Texas Writer

FORT WORTH, TX - When you have a twin brother, the importance of family can be significant.

But when it comes to baseball, Jacob Speaker points to his grandmother as the first influence.

“My grandma bought me a wiffleball bat to hit with,” Speaker reflected about his first experience with baseball that began thanks to Jean Jones, his grandmother. “That was a lot of fun. I just remember how my dad and mom weren’t the ones that taught me to play catch, it was my grandma. She’s the one that got me into the sport.”

The others have since followed, helping the All Saints Episcopal junior become a hot commodity on the college recruiting trail.

“My dad has always emphasized I need to be the hardest worker on the field,” Speaker said of his father, Jim. “He’s always pushed me to be my best. That’s very important. A big part when I think about baseball is my dad pushing me. I wouldn’t have the same work ethic I have now if it were not for my dad.”

It has college interest growing in the 17th-rated unsigned junior in the state.

“I’ve gained a lot of strength and more velocity throwing,” noted the 6-4 210-pounder, who listed a Texas D1 school and an Ivy League school as colleges that he has been in contact with in his early stages of recruitment. “I’ve also seen a lot of improvement in my hitting, too.”

Whether Speaker plays shortstop at the next level or if pitching is in his future is still to be determined.

“I always wanted to play a position for as long as I can,” the switch-hitting Speaker said. “Now some say my future is as a pitcher. I have no problem with that, as long as it gets me to the next level.”

Either way, it won’t change his approach to the game.

“Determination is my biggest selling point,” the 101st-ranked player in the state’s 2019 class said. “And I always work hard.”

Finding a partner to work with has never been an issue for Speaker. Twin brother Mason has always been there.

“It’s nice having a twin, there’s always someone to throw with in the cages,” pointed out Speaker, who has a cage at home. “He’s a catcher so I always have someone to throw to. I can catch for him, too, if need be.”

A college recruit as well, brother Mason has similar ability on the field according to Speaker.

“There’s not much difference,” Speaker said. “He’d say he throws harder but I’d say not that much harder. We’re both hitting it well and with power, too. The biggest thing is we play different positions.”

However, Mason’s future could also be on the mound, although catching is still in the works. But could it be at the same college as Jacob?

“That’s something we have discussed,” Speaker said. “It would be cool, but to get separated would be good, too. I would be nice getting away from each other.”

That decision is still a ways off, with exposure plans in the immediate future for Speaker.

“I’ve already signed up for a couple showcases,” noted Speaker, listing an Ivy League Showcase, the PBR Top Prospect Showcase in June and a Stix Baseball Club Showcase.

It has Speaker, a 3.8 student with plans to follow in his father’s footsteps as a lawyer, excited about what lies ahead.

“Since I was little I’ve always wanted to play at the next level,” Speaker said. “Then it started to become realistic my freshman year. I wasn’t 100 pounds yet and my coach was asking where I envisioned going to college. That started making me work harder to get bigger and now it’s paying off in my game.”

The recruitment has followed.

“It was pretty slow for awhile, then it all came at once,” Speaker explained. “Coach Bicknell (PBR Texas Scouting Director) got things flowing for us at All-States (PBR All-State Showcase in January). He was there to see a couple other guys on my team and Mason and I did well pitching. That got us going.”

And to think it all started with grandma and a wiffleball bat more than a decade ago.

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