Wound up and ready to strike

Negaunee native Jandron signs deal with Diamondbacks

Negaunee native Tyler Jandron pitches for Northwood duirng a game in 2017. Jandron earned several awards with the Timberwolves and recently signed a free agent contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks. (Photo courtesy Northwood University)

MISSOULA, Mont. — Former Negaunee Miners pitcher Tyler Jandron doesn’t get shaken up much.

When he’s out on the mound, he locks in and stays intently focused as he looks to rack up another strikeout victim.

However, when you achieve a lifelong goal, even the most stable of athletes might be a little bewildered and that’s still the case with Jandron.

After a stellar career at Northwood where he became the school’s all-time wins leader, a two-time GLIAC Pitcher of the Year and a two-time Midwest Region Pitcher of the Year recipient, Jandron signed a free agent contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks a couple of weeks ago.

In a phone interview, Jandron said he’s still trying to process it all as the move from college to the pros went by rather quickly.

“It’s unreal,” he said. “It’s honestly a dream come true. Obviously, I was looking forward to the (Major League Baseball) draft and I ended up not getting drafted, but that wasn’t really going to stop me from continuing to play. I was planning on actually going to Pittsburgh to play independent ball and I was just going to take that route, but I ended up getting a call like two days later. It was crazy.”

Jandron said that he had been in touch with Arizona’s scout and that the scout had attended some of his games at Northwood. He also said other teams were interested as well, but when the draft was over, his name wasn’t called. So he contacted the various scouts that were interested to see if they had any advice for him.

“So I reached out to all the scouts that took the time to come and see me and thanked them,” he said. “I asked them what my next step should be and all that. They just told me that indy ball is great and just wait a few days and some teams might need guys. Then it was like 30 or 40 minutes later, they (the Diamondbacks) called me, which was pretty cool.”

Jandron also said that his family is doing great and is very thrilled for him now that he’s achieved a dream of playing pro ball.

“My dad is very happy and very proud and he was ecstatic when I got the call,” he said. “Everyone was so happy and so excited. They knew I was bummed out about the draft, but they just said to stay true to yourself and stay true to the process. If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be and something will happen. Well, something did happen and it worked out.”

Jandron said he went down to Arizona for a couple of days to fill out paperwork and was quickly sent up to Montana to join the Diamondbacks’ Rookie Advanced level squad, the Missoula Osprey. He said he’s currently pitching out of the bullpen and so far, he’s pitched in one game, a 3-1 win over the Helena Brewers. Jandron gave up zero runs and zero hits while picking up a strikeout in one inning of work.

“When I got to Arizona, I was still like ‘wow this is actually happening.’ ‘This is the real deal,” Jandron said. “This is a thing I trained for and that I prepared for. It still hasn’t settled in. It does sometimes, but I still have to think about it for a few minutes. It’s unreal.”

Even though he’s now playing professional ball as he tries to work his way up to the majors, Jandron still remembers his days with the Timberwolves fondly and thinks that is what helped him get to where it is now.

“It was amazing there,” he said. “Leaving (Wisconsin) Parkside was a hard one to swallow because I met a lot of good people over there and I enjoyed playing both sports (he also played basketball for the Rangers), but once I went to Northwood, they welcomed me with open arms. They really weren’t sure what they were going to get out of me and those two years really changed my life. I learned a lot and I met some very good friends. They helped me out through this whole entire process and they’re the ones that got me here. Coach (Jordan) Bischel did a phenomenal job of teaching me the game and to know numbers and to think more baseball-wise. He just continued to push me every single day. It was honestly the best scenario for me.”

There’s not a lot of athletes, baseball or others, in the Upper Peninsula that end up moving on to the pros and Jandron is well-aware of that. He also said that all of the athletes who are still hoping to get a look from somebody, whether is at the pro or college level, should keep at it and stay strong.

“Just keep working,” he said. “You’re going to be doubted and you’re going to be laughed at. I’ve been laughed at quite a bit throughout my high school career. People will doubt you and sleep on you, but just have a good mentality. You don’t have to say anything to them. Just work hard and play hard and give everything your all. My mentality is I’m going to come after you. If we’re down by 30 or whatever, I’m still going to come after you.”

That attitude has gotten Jandron to his goal and now, even though he’s still processing things, the newest Diamondback is ready to strike.

Ryan Stieg can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 252. His email address is rstieg@miningjournal.net.