Showalter faces uncertain but bright future
James Madison junior right-handed pitcher Justin Showalter has an uncertain, but bright future on the mound.
Showalter is training and preparing for the upcoming MLB Draft, which is set to take place from June 10-11. However, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the draft has been reduced from 40 rounds to just five in 2020.
"My mindset stays the same at least up until the draft," said Showalter. "Still working as if I am preparing for a professional career but obviously I am not sure how that will go this year with everything being kind of up in the air."
After an outstanding prep career at Turner Ashby High School, Showalter has developed into a pro prospect during his time at JMU. He was off to a dominant start in 2020, with a 0.68 ERA in just 26.2 innings pitched, when the season was shut down due to global pandemic.
"At this point in time he has two legitimate professional pitches," said JMU associate head coach and pitching coach Jimmy Jackson. "His fastball is pretty much a sinker and then what he calls a cutter, which is a slider...what he has now done really well is he can command both of those pitches to both sides of the plate."
JMU head coach Marlin Ikenberry added about Showalter: "He's won. He won in high school. He started off the year with a great record and getting us deep into games."
Aside from his success with the Dukes, Showalter has performed well against some of the best college hitters in the country over the last two summers with stints in the Valley Baseball League and Cape Cod Baseball League. He hopes to hear his name called during the 2020 MLB Draft but if he doesn't, Showalter still has options. He can sign with a professional team as a free agent or return to JMU for at least one, if not two more seasons with the Dukes.
"It's kind of a win-win scenario for me," said Showalter.