Zach Jemiola bio
Player: Zach Jemiola
Jersey Number: 23
School: Great Oak High School
Hometown: Temecula, Calif.
Height, Weight: 6-3, 200
Best Baseball Memory: Beating my rival school five times.
Greatest Baseball Accomplishment: Getting drafted.
Favorite Player Growing Up: Darin Erstad. He worked hard and got the job done.
Most Influential Player/Role Model: Paul Bargas. He has cancer and still is trying to work his way back into pro ball.
Favorite Food: Mexican, California Burrito.
Favorite Pregame Meal: Egg sandwich.
Off-field hobbies: Golf, rock climbing.
Favorite Movie or Book: “Sandlot.”
Zach Jemiola used to be a speedy shortstop and outfielder. Then, he hit a growth spurt.
“I used to be small and fast,” Jemiola said. “I started getting big and slowed down a lot.”
Jemiola decided to try pitching, and it didn’t take long for him to find success.
“I was in travel ball, and we needed pitchers,” Jemiola said. “I was able to throw pretty hard. The coaches started working with me, and it went from there.”
As a senior in high school, he struck out 24 batters and walked 25 in 23 1/3 innings. He held opponents to a .173 batting average and signed with the University of Calfornia-Riverside.
“I got asked to go to a lot of showcases,” Jemiola said. “A lot of scouts coming to my house telling me they want to take me (in the draft).”
The Rockies took Jemiola in the ninth round of the 2012 draft, and now he’s with the Rookie-affiliate Grand Junction Rockies.
“It’s surreal,” Jemiola said. “I’m speechless. I thank God every day I got this opportunity to play baseball. It’s awesome. I love it.
“I’ve got to work even harder now that I’ve made it. Compared to a lot of these guys, I’ve got to work my butt off.”
Jemiola said he’ll probably pitch in relief for the Grand Junction Rockies, but he hopes to become a starter and advance to Class A ball next season.
“I haven’t had as much experience going into a baseball town, but having people excited to watch you play is an awesome feeling,” Jemiola said. “I love it.”