Former Houston Baptist University standout Jacob Coats made his dream come true in the Astros organization

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) – Houston Astros pitching prospect Jacob Coats’ game plan does not include a contingency plan.

“I was worried that if I had a backup plan, when the going got tough, I would say it’s time to do everything,” Coats admitted during a Zoom interview with ABC13.

And it certainly got tough for the minor league pitcher. The former HBU star underwent multiple surgeries in college, and although he led the team in strikeouts, he was never drafted or signed by any of Major League Baseball’s 30 teams.

“Everyone was like, ‘What’s next?'” Coats recalls. “You should have seen their faces when I said, ‘I’m just going to keep training and keep trying to play baseball.’ They thought I’d lost my mind. You just can’t stop it, you know?”

Through six months of working with Tread Athletics, Coats increased his fastball speed from the low 90s to nearly 100. His father filmed — so to speak — the first time he threw 98 mph.

“I kicked my leg and it’s 98 and he’s freaking out,” Coats explained of his father and the video. “He was supposed to record it, put the radar gun in front of the camera, but he completely forgot. He showed me and freaked out himself. The camera was everywhere. So we stopped at the bullpen and I hugged him. It was a surreal moment. But then, on the drive home, I decided I had to make a real video for Scouts and start sending it out.”

Now with a big league fastball, Coats would be posting videos for MLB scouts on social media. After watching him pitch, the Astros signed Coats to a minor league contract in January. He was recently promoted to Class High-A Asheville from Class Low-A Fayetteville. Coats is only three steps away from the majors.

“I truly believe that God has blessed me with a great gift, not only to play with athletic ability, but also to send me the people in my circle who continue to support me and encourage me to keep trying,” he said .

Coats’ dreams – and his plans – are moving too fast to even consider a fallback plan.

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Copyright © 2022 KTRK-TV. All rights reserved. Former Houston Baptist University standout Jacob Coats made his dream come true in the Astros organization

Dais Johnston

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