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Army can wait; West Point baseball star signs with Cincinnati Reds

Defense Dept. letting service academy grads try pro sports first
Reds finish spring training season with Futures Games in Louisville, Dayton
Posted at 8:25 PM, Jul 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-17 20:33:56-04

WEST POINT, N.Y. — The Reds have signed a former Army outfielder and team captain to a minor-league contract under a new Defense Department policy allowing service academy athletes to pursue professional sports after graduation.

Jacob Hurtubise agreed to a $20,000 maximum signing bonus for players bypassed in last month’s amateur draft.

The Zionsville, Indiana, native becomes the first baseball player to receive a professional offer since the Defense Department endorsed the policy last November.

Once approved, Hurtubise will be allowed to delay his commissioning and subsequent service obligation.

“We are very proud and excited for Jacob to get this opportunity with the Cincinnati Reds,” Army head coach Jim Foster said in a statement. “He has been a huge part of our baseball program and will be remembered as one of the greats in program history.”

Hurtubise graduated in June as the Army and Patriot League all-time leader in stolen bases (105) and walks (142). In 2019, he set Army single-season records for runs (71), walks (69) and stolen bases (45), earning ABCA All-American honors and also was named Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year.

Hurtubise’s senior season was wiped out by the coronavirus pandemic after he played in only five games.

Hurtubise was drafted in the 39th round last year by the Seattle Mariners before returning to West Point for his senior season. He was not selected in the June draft, which had only 160 players picked in five rounds.

Pitcher Chris Rowley is the only Army player to reach the major leagues, making his debut in 2017 for the Toronto Blue Jays.