This Potomac Nationals third baseman wears #11, and his dad is a General in the United States Air Force, but 25-year-old Robby Jacobsen is making a name for himself in Woodbridge with his outstanding play.
Jacobsen is truly a homegrown talent. The 6’1”, 205-pounder was drafted by the Nats in 2006 and went to school, played baseball and is now an offseason volunteer coach at George Mason University.
Robby’s father, Kevin J. Jacobsen, is a general in the United States Air Force and in command of the Air Force Special Investigations Unit at Andrews Air Force Base.
Is it nice with your Dad so close at Andrews? Can he come see you play in person a lot?
“It is awesome. It is kind of the perfect situation. It could have been anywhere, west coast, midwest, anywhere, it is cool to be close to home and close to my family.”
Being an Air Force brat, did that mean playing baseball in a lot of different places growing up?
“I went to two high schools, first few years were in Germany. We didn’t have a high school team, but we did have a travel team. We played in Paris, all over France, Germany and England. Different Air Force bases had different teams and different travel teams. We played German men’s teams and French teams while I was in high school. The French teams would play soccer on that field before our games. It was pretty cool to see the cultural differences.”
So you’ve heard of that other third baseman who wears #11 on South Capitol Street? Will you have to change that number when you make the Nationals?
“That is a pretty cool coincidence, I guess, in this organization? (Laughs) Number 14 (Brad Peacock) would be my first choice, but we have a veteran pitcher here who wears that number, and #11 looked like a good-looking second choice.”
Jacobsen is batting .205 with 4 homers and 16 RBI in 51 games for the P-Nats. He’s played almost every position this season for Gary Cathcart’s squad, and although he would like those numbers to be a little more consistent, when I spoke to him last week, he was feeling pretty good about his season so far.
“I am getting the opportunity to bounce around and play different positions - Catching a little bit, playing the outfield, first and third base, which I think is my strong point. I am working on defense every day and trying to keep the bat consistent.”
Is the pitching pretty good all around in the Carolina League?
“It is tough this year compared to the past few years just because we see the same teams over and over, so we see the same pitchers. As much as we learn them, they can make adjustments on us a little more often. For example, the last guy I saw this game, (Frederick’s Sean) Gleason threw me a lot of curve balls recently and tonight he threw three straight fast balls. It is just a tough thing to do every day. Hopefully it will come back around in our favor.”
What does batting coach Matt Nokes do to help you improve at the plate?
“He has a different perspective on a lot of things. He has the ability to say the same thing a lot of different ways until something clicks. He gets into the nitty-gritty part of mechanical aspects and trying to look at one key thing that will put a lot of small things together. He is good because he knows a lot of information and he is constantly giving it to you. And then the mental aspect, he is giving me a pretty good approach at the plate.”
The mental aspect is a part of the game that is so important because you have the physical tools, but getting the mental side down can be the key to success through a long season, right?
“Oh yes, the mental thing. The swing comes and goes. Some nights its on and sometimes its not. The biggest thing is being ready every day and every pitch, and kind of having a plan. With all the different pitchers we see every day it is important to have more of a solid approach than just guessing.”