Jacob Daniel Brigham
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 3", Weight 210 lb.
- High School Central Florida Christian Academy
- Debut June 30, 2015
- Final Game August 30, 2015
- Born February 10, 1988 in Winter Garden, FL USA
Jake Brigham is a pitcher who made his major league debut in 2015. He is the nephew of Ron Karkovice.
Brigham led Central Floridian high schoolers with 141 strikeouts in 2005 and was named All-State Class A. He was 7-2 with a 0.71 ERA as a high school senior. He was selected by the Texas Rangers in the 6th round of the 2006 amateur draft. The scout was Guy DeMutis. He had a couple of solid seasons in 2006 and 2007 in the lower reaches of the Rangers' minor league system while being used as a starter. He was 2-6 with a 3.70 ERA for the 2006 AZL Rangers, tying for third in the Arizona League in losses. He improved to 5-4, 3.16 for the 2007 Spokane Indians. He was second in the Texas chain in ERA and among the Northwest League leaders in ERA (4th, between T.J. Brewer and Derek Holland), innings (4th, 77) and hit batsmen (3rd, 11). Baseball America rated him as the 20th-best prospect in the league.
However, he missed the entire 2008 season after Tommy John surgery, and when he resumed pitching in 2009, he was not as sharp. That year, he was 2-11, 5.52 with the Hickory Crawdads of the South Atlantic League. Only Richard Bleier had more losses among Rangers minor leaguers and he tied for 4th in the SAL in defeats (behind Kyle Greenwalt, Brad Hand and Andrew Brackman). Had he not shown great potential in earlier years, he would likely have been released at that point, but instead returned to repeat the level in 2010. He began the season with the Bakersfield Blaze of the California League but struggled (1-5, 6.93 in 11 games) and was demoted to Hickory, where he was 6-5, 3.36 in 14 games.
Despite his struggles in the California League, Jacob started the 2011 season in AA, with the Frisco RoughRiders of the Texas League. He was 6-6, 4.49 as a swingman, striking out 114 in 114 1/3 innings and allowing a .244 average but walking 55. That kind of performance meant that he was back with the same team in 2012. Now back to starting full-time, he did somewhat better, going 5-5 with a 4.28 ERA in 21 starts, showing some talent as an innings-eater, as he had passed both his innings and strikeout totals from the previous year with a month still to go. On July 30th, however, he was traded to the Chicago Cubs, as the return for C Geovany Soto who went to the Rangers in a trading deadline deal.
Primary Source: 2012 Rangers Media Guide