Landon Allen Jacobsen
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 3", Weight 220 lb.
Landon Jacobsen was 60-48 in his minor league career entering 2007, which he begins with the Reading Phillies.
Jacobsen's high school did not have a baseball team, but he played American Legion ball well enough to draw attention. The tall right-hander was picked by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 37th round of the 1997 amateur draft but did not sign. He went on to junior college and was picked by Milwaukee in the 47th round of the 1998 amateur draft but again went unsigned. The Pittsburgh Pirates took him in the 50th round of the 1999 amateur draft, one of the last picks in the draft that year. He signed but did not pitch for the organization that season.
Jacobsen pitched in 2000 for the Williamsport Crosscutters (3-2, 1.41, 57 K, .188 opponent average in 57 1/3 IP) and Hickory Crawdads (3-0, 3.64). Had he qualified, he would have led the New York-Penn League in ERA. He made the league All-Star team as one of the top two right-handed hurlers.
Landon was 1-4 with a 3.38 ERA for Hickory in 2001, but spent most of the year with the Lynchburg Hillcats, where his record was 5-7, 3.34 and he was a two-time Carolina League Pitcher of the Week. His 133 strikeouts were second in the Pirates minor league chain, only one behind Sean Burnett. He tied 11 other pitchers for the Carolina League shutout lead (1).
In 2002, Jacobsen had a solid year with Lynchburg, posting a 12-10, 2.89 record. A mid-season Carolina League All-Star, he finished fifth in strikeouts (123) and 7th in ERA in the loop. He was the #2 man on the staff behind Burnett on a championship-winning Hillcats club.
Landon moved up to AA in 2003, starting at least a five-year run at that level. He led Pirates minor leaguers in losses (11) and innings pitched (162 2/3). His strikeout total fell to 80 but his ERA was 2.93; he won nine games. The Altoona Curve hurler was second in the Eastern League in ERA, trailing Dave Gassner and ahead of Burnett and other higher-rated prospects.
At age 25, Jacobsen remained in AA. He was 5-2 with a 4.99 ERA in 15 games for Altoona. A sore shoulder cut his season short. He battled injury in 2005, pitching 11 games in relief for Altoona (2-0, 1 Sv, 3.86) and spending time with Lynchburg (3-1, 2.10 in 5 starts) and with the GCL Pirates (3-1, 3.72). While in the Gulf Coast League, Landon pitched a perfect game limited to five innings by rain.
In winter ball, Landon was with the Leones del Caracas. He had a 6.04 ERA in the regular season, 4.35 in the round-robin and 1.80 in the finals. He continued to get better as the competition got rougher and he had a 1.29 ERA in the 2006 Caribbean Series, allowing 3 hits in 7 innings as the #2 pitcher on the victorious Venezuelan entry. Only Geremi Gonzalez had a lower ERA in the Series.
Jacobsen bounced back in 2006 to lead Pirates minor leaguers with 14 wins. Back in Altoona once again, he went 14-9 with a 3.21 ERA. He also made two starts in AAA for the Indianapolis Indians, going 0-1 with 12 runs and 16 hits allowed in 10 IP. Jacobsen was fifth in the EL in ERA and second in wins behind Adam Miller's 15.
Jacobsen had a 13.50 ERA for Caracas in the 2006-2007 Venezuelan Winter League. Moving to the Philadelphia Phillies system as a minor league free agent, he was assigned to the Reading Phillies. Through May 6, he is 3-2 with a 4.50 ERA.