By: Tim Crowley
During their championship season in 2019, the Cotuit Kettleers benefited from a rare luxury. While most Cape League teams choose bullpen catchers from local high schools. Last summer, the Cotuit pitching staff spent their season throwing to collegiate catcher Jake Nemith, who joined the team while he rehabbed from shoulder surgery. The addition would pay major dividends throughout the 2019 campaign.
Nemith’s baseball career spans from his childhood. After playing mostly outfield through the eighth grade, his growth and strong arm led him behind the plate. In addition to catching, Nemith also splits time at first base and third base.
“I love catching,” Nemith said. “I love calling a game and playing the mental game. I will go in and take notes after each inning to try to keep myself ahead. I like to see the whole field and interact with every pitch, and catching is the position to do that.”
Nemith played high school baseball at Pace High School in Pace, Florida in addition to time in showcases through the Triton Rays. At this point, he recognized the opportunity to play at the next level and committed to Pensacola State College.
In his one season as a Pirate, Nemith hit .275 with 3 HR, 21 RBI, and 11 walks. Over his 46 games, Nemith played through a torn labrum for the majority of the season. His time rehabbing from the injury would ultimately lead to a life-changing opportunity.
A few years prior, Nemith had been connected to Coach Mike Roberts through his stepmom and met for a breakfast meeting. The two stayed in touch since then, which led to a phone call prior to the 2019 season. With Nemith having taken the year off for rehab, Coach Roberts offered Jake the opportunity to come workout with Cotuit for the summer as their bullpen catcher. The chance to return to some form of baseball activity was all Nemith needed to hear and accept the offer.
It was the best experience of my life,” Nemith recalls. “Coach Roberts is a great mentor and a great man. I cannot thank him enough.”
For a player who holds aspirations to eventually enter the MLB Draft, Nemith learned the mentality of an elite college prospect and what kind of determination leads to success among the best college baseball players in the country.
His mental understanding of pitching flourished through experiences catching arms such as Kyle Nicolas, Casey Schmitt, and Trey Holland.
Off the field, being on his own with his host parent, Miss Colleen, molded Nemith into a man, learning to cook for himself and operate his life away from home for the first time.
A championship victory over the Harwich Mariners capped off an incredible experience for Jake that kicked off a new chapter of his baseball life
Following his summer on the Cape, Jake continued his junior college journey to Allen Community College in Iola, Kansas. In a season shortened by COVID-19, Nemith tallied 10 hits in 43 at bats
With plenty of baseball ahead of him, Nemith intends to play out his three remaining years of eligibility at the University of West Alabama. He will also finish out his two years to complete a bachelor’s degree in elementary education.
For as talented as the Cotuit Kettleers were in their 2019 championship season, the effort and work ethic highlights Jake Nemith’s role as the ultimate unsung hero.