By: Abagail Chambers
Coming to the University of Tampa as a freshman, Jordan Leasure had no idea what was in store for him as an athlete. Just four years later, he would hear his name announced at the 2021 Major League Baseball Draft.
Jordan Leasure’s baseball journey at UT began when he was a Freshman. Amid all the nerves, he started his career off strong as he formed a close bond with his teammates and coaches. Leasure had a lot to learn with the next four years ahead of him, but he did not waste any time.
“I learned so much in a short amount of time and became really close with all my teammates,” Leasure said.
Leasure had two surgeries in his baseball career, with one of them during his time at UT.
“Recovering from these injuries has taught me a lot about perseverance and overcoming adversity,” said Leasure.
Overcoming any challenge that comes his way played a large role in Leasure’s success with the sport.
Although his talent speaks for itself, Leasure gives much credit to the people who have helped him along the way. His family has been his biggest supporters, attending every game they possibly can.
“I wouldn’t be where I am today without my mom and my grandfather. They have helped me so much I can’t even describe how fortunate I am for them,” said Leasure.
In his four years as varsity pitcher of the UT Baseball Team, Leasure wouldn’t have become the player he is roday without his teammates.
“Every year the team becomes a family and it’s really fun to compete for a national championship with them each year,” said Leasure.
One of those teammates, Julio Medina, said Leasure is “a humble and incredible man.”
“Jordan as a teammate was anything and everything you could’ve ever asked for. He was always up to help us out if we needed tips or advice,” said Medina. “Jordan contributed in a huge way. A lot of the guys looked up to him because of his tireless work ethic.”
Leasure is also grateful for the time he has spent training with the coaching staff at UT. Coach Urso, Coach Sam, and Coach Jose spent countless hours with him on the field.
“They have helped me grow as a baseball player more than I ever expected,” said Leasure.
Urso said, “[Leasure is] not only an All-American pitcher but our leader by example on and off the field…our game plan each night was to get the ball in his hand tied or with the lead and we knew we would win.”
The coaches also applaud Leasure on his attitude during practice and games.
“Jordan brought energy and confidence in the late innings that can be so tough. He is one of the best closers in UT history and we have had a lot of great ones,” said Urso.
During his time at UT, Leasure has been recognized for his talent and skill set on the field. In 2019, he led the team to victory, winning the National Championship. Just two years later, Leasure was named the 2021 Conference Pitcher of the Year. Another highlight of his baseball career at UT is becoming an All-American.
Above all, Jordan finishes out his four years as a varsity pitcher with being drafted to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2021 MLB draft this past July.
Leasure also flourished academically while at UT. He graduated this past May with a Bachelor of Science degree in criminology. Leasure chose to continue his education and is currently completing his masters degree in communications. His balance of baseball and academics has allowed him to succeed both on and off the field.
Going from a college athlete to a professional athlete is a huge step. The draft process is an honor to be a part of, and Leasure was grateful for each and every part.
“The draft process was pretty stressful, not knowing what was going to happen,” said Leasure. “But once I was selected by the Dodgers, I was extremely excited and overwhelmed with emotions.”
Currently Leasure is in Arizona at the Dodgers training facility. He is training and preparing to report to one of their minor league affiliates to start playing games.
“I was nervous for the move, but I am excited to have this opportunity to continue my baseball career. I also have had a lot of fun training and getting better,” said Leasure.
Leasure’s past four years at UT have been full of ups and downs. Both athletically and academically he has been able to learn and grow. The possibilities are endless for Jordan Leasure as he begins his next chapter with the Los Angeles Dodgers.