Jax, who graduated from the Air Force Academy, is a man with two teams. The right hander works for the United States Air Force under their World Class Athlete Program which exempts him from serving active duty. The arrangement ensures that Jax’s season won’t be cut short again.
On the mound, Jax has a loose delivery with a three-quarters slot. He works with three pitches, using a slider and change as his off-speed. The fastball sits at 92-to-93 mph early in outings before dropping a tick as his pitch count rises. A slider in the 82-to-84 mph range has consistent spin and is an effective complement to the heater. Jax’s feel for a change is a separator, grading as his best secondary offering and flashing swing-and-miss potential. Able to locate the pitch to both sides of the plate, he sells the changeup well with fastball armspeed, getting hitters to expand the zone and chase it with two strikes. Jax’s poise on the mound is advanced, as his pitchability and strikethrowing ability. His control has been astounding this season, issuing walks less than three-percent of the time in the Florida State League. He doesn’t have the stuff to come over the plate quite as much against better hitters and will have to nibble, but the ability to fill the zone with different speeds ties together a pitch mix that’s closer to average than plus.
His development may be a bit behind because of his previous commitments to the Air Force, though Jax has shown little rust since debuting with Ft. Myers in June. Spending a full season focusing solely on baseball in 2019 could pay dividends for Jax, who has the ceiling of a backend starter.