Detroit Tigers prospects Jackson Jobe and Izaac Pacheco have formed fast friendship

Detroit Free Press

LAKELAND, Fla. — Detroit Tigers prospect Jackson Jobe is the neat freak.

But what about Izaac Pacheco?

“He is a slob,” Jobe said, laughing. “I’m always staying on him about making sure things are organized, making sure he’s picking up his trash.”

The Tigers took Jobe with their top pick in the 2021 draft — the third pick overall — and then selected Pacheco 29 spots later.

Jobe and Pacheco are both 19, going through their first Tigers minor-league minicamp together, sharing a hotel room.

And they have already formed a tight bond.

Even if it is “The Odd Couple” come to life.

Jobe is a pitcher, Pacheco an infielder.

Jobe is great at the video game “Fortnite”, while Pacheo is still learning it.

“We’re almost like brothers now,” Jobe said. “So it’s awesome. We help each other with everything. We’ve gotten really close and have something really special going on. He’s a little goofy, outgoing, a lot of fun. But I love him. Like I said, he’s like a brother to me, so we have a good time.”

So yes, Jobe can tease Pacheco about being a slob.

Because everything they do is a playful competition — complete with the necessary trash talk.

“It’s a good bond,” Pacheco said. “Once we start doing something, we can’t stop until we win.”

Maybe, that’s the one thing that truly unites them.

That competitiveness.

THE CLASS OF 2021: Detroit Tigers prospect Izaac Pacheco resembles Nick Castellanos at 19 — only better

Prospects pair up

As the Tigers have gone through this rebuild, bringing in young talented players, it has been interesting to see who seems to gravitate together, the personalities that seem to mesh naturally.

Casey Mize and Tarik Skubal, two pitchers who have advanced to Detroit, formed a fast relationship and started sharing a place in Lakeland.

Riley Greene and Spencer Torkelson, back-to-back first-round picks, have developed a close bond.

POWERFUL PALS: Alligators and 5,000-foot bombs: Inside the bromance of Detroit Tigers’ Riley Greene, Spencer Torkelson

And now we have Jobe and Pacheco.

You seem to notice a pattern?

Great players gravitate together.

Game knows game.

“He’s awesome,” Pacheco said. “He’s really confident, loves to have a good time, definitely loves to compete.”

They met back when they were still in high school, at a showcase before the draft.

“I kind of just texted him,” Pacheco said. “And he texted me. And then we helped each other when we had the home visits and all the scouts were talking to us, you know, we kind of helped each other. It kind of just grew our relationship.”

They have lived the same life at the same time.

First going through the draft.

Now, learning how to live on their own.

“We’re both so blessed to be able to go through this experience together,” Pacheco said. “We couldn’t imagine doing this on our own. And, you know, we both help each other, and we both work very, very hard.”

Pacheco describes himself as a simple person.

“I am a simple guy,” Pacheco said. “I just hang out with Jobe. Trying to read some more books and we watch Netflix.”

After watching “Breaking Bad” and “Ozark,” they have moved on to “Entourage” (though, technically, that’s not on Netflix, it’s on HBO Max).

Neither does the cooking because their suite doesn’t have a kitchen.

“Not yet,” Jobe said. “But soon.”

Yes, you get the sense they’ll be moving on to an Airbnb, just like Torkelson and Greene.

THE HOMER KING: Tigers prospect no longer under the radar after homering over it

Brothers in competition

Jobe and Pacheco have both grown up fast.

“I always thought it’d be hard when I was younger,” Pacheco said. “But we’ve had no choice but to grow up. We both became really mature after dealing with things on our own like shipping our cars and all that kind of stuff.”

Neither one feels like a teenager anymore. They feel older than they are.

“Definitely,” Jobe said. “I think it’s just because of the situation we’ve been put in, you know, having to grow up a little sooner than other guys. But I mean, this is what we both love to do. We were talking about it last night. It’s weird to think that we should be in college right now. But yeah, that’s the path that we chose. And we both love doing it every morning. So it doesn’t really feel like a job to us.”

Nope.

It’s just two kids — yes, it’s important to remember they are still teenagers — going through the same thing together for the first time.

“He’s awesome,” Pacheco said. “We love to joke around, nothing’s too serious.”

Unless they are doing something.

Anything.

And then it gets serious. It gets competitive.

Like two brothers refusing to lose to the other.

THE CLASS OF 2020: How Detroit Tigers prospect Gage Workman became the best kind of thief

Contact Jeff Seidel: jseidel@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @seideljeff. To read his recent columns, go to freep.com/sports/jeff-seidel.

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