When JD Worcester is in charge on the pitchers’ mound, he’s competitive and hates to lose.
The Juanita High senior said that relaxing and having fun with the game is just as crucial as mowing down batters with one of his left-handed fireballs. At press time, the Santa Clara University-bound hurler has notched 16 strikeouts in 9.2 innings pitched.
Away from the mound, the 6-foot-4 Rebel plays first base and some outfield. “I like to feel comfortable in almost any position I play. I think a big thing with athletes is trying to be versatile and play whatever position your team needs (you to),” he said.
The Rebels defeated Sammamish, 7-1, on Monday and beat Liberty, 12-1, last Friday and at press time sported a 2-3 league record. Worcester — who nailed three hits, including a homer, against Sammamish — expects that record to change even further in the positive direction as the season progresses.
Worcester attracted the attention of Santa Clara head coach Rusty Filter, who was the former pitching coach at Stanford and is widely considered one of the top guys in the country at clutching onto pitching talent. He’s notched two No. 1 draft picks, including Stephen Strasburg of the Washington Nationals.
“To have an opportunity to go there and play for him would be amazing, and I’m not complaining about the sun, either,” Worcester said.
Worcester plans on majoring in business at Santa Clara and later hopes to work in the sports management or talent management fields. He’ll minor in Chinese since he wants to focus more on the language that he grew up speaking when he lived in that country. The Seattle-born Worcester is half Chinese on his mom’s side, moved to China before he turned 1 and returned to the United States eight years later.
The Reporter asked Worcester a series of questions for a behind-the-scenes glimpse into his life.
Reporter: What’s your favorite restaurant in Kirkland?
JW: I’d have to say Pizza Bank. A bunch of my friends work there, too.
Reporter: What’s your biggest pet peeve?
JW: Man, these are tough on-the-spot questions… In my car when people don’t buckle the seatbelt, it dings and dings and dings. I tell my friends to buckle up all the time.
Reporter: What’s something unique about you that maybe somebody doesn’t know?
JW: I love slam poetry. A lot of people think that I’m an athlete, but I write slam poetry and I go to the slam meets almost weekly. That’s a huge passion of mine.
Reporter: What’s your favorite kind of music?
JW: I like all kinds of music, but I like rap, of course. My favorite artist would probably be Nipsey Hussle. I also like rock ’n roll, ‘cause I got into my dad’s music, so I really like The Doors and Jimi Hendrix.
Reporter: What’s the last movie you saw?
JW: “Love, Simon,” it was a good movie. I watched it with a girl and she thought it was cute, and I thought it was pretty sincere and endearing, too.
Reporter: How many texts do you send per day?
JW: Texts and Snapchats, I probably do like 30 to 35, just talking with my friends.