Price native Jarod Lessar joined elite company this past week when he agreed to terms to pitch for the New York Yankees. Lessar’s journey to the iconic franchise took an unconventional route, but his story shows that with hard work and dedication, dreams can be realized.
The Dino alum started his collegiate career as a linebacker on the gridiron at Southern Utah University (SUU). He was then asked to gain weight to move to the D-Line and got up to 270 pounds by the end of his first year at SUU.
Lessar did not enjoy putting on the additional weight and missed playing baseball, so he decided to move back home and play for USU Eastern. Rheumatoid arthritis took away his freshman season, but Lessar did not give up on his goals. The next fall, a Brigham Young University (BYU) coach watched Lessar throw 92-MPH fastballs and later offered him a chance to play for the Cougars.
As a junior at BYU, the pitcher went 3-2 with a 4.44 ERA and 44 strikeouts over 48.2 innings. In the small sample size of his senior year, Lessar made four starts and appeared in five games. He had 15 strikeouts in 16.1 innings with a 4.41 ERA in that span.
Lessar will now head to Tampa, Florida to join the Yankees as the baseball world awaits the upcoming season.