Jesse Posey comes from an acting family. His father John is a busy actor who has appeared in multitudes of television shows and has starred in many movies, while his brother Tyler is the star of the popular MTV series “Teen Wolf.”
But this summer Jesse Posey has been playing a role that he hopes he can play for a long time to come.
Posey has been playing the part of a baseball player and looking at the results, he is a star in his own right. Posey, a recent graduate of Hart High School in the Santa Clarita Valley, is pitching and playing outfield for the Santa Maria Reds.
And he has done a very good job on the mound and at the plate.
“Jesse Posey is a straight up baseball player,” said his summer coach Robert Pena. “He has earned the team’s respect in a short amount of time. He’s not ‘a look at me’ type of guy, he’s not a show off, he just goes out there and plays hard.
“He just wants to be respected as a ball player and a person and he picks up his teammates big time.”
Posey came to the Reds because of his relationship to Pena, the manager of the Reds this season.
“I come from Santa Clarita where I was his hitting instructor for quite a few years,” Pena explained. “He went to the Line Drive Batting Cages where I was working and over the years I became a close family friend.
“No matter what he did or how he excelled, they always brought him to me.”
Pena left Santa Clarita to work at the Pitchout Batting Cages in Santa Maria and found himself coaching at Orcutt Academy in the spring, then was named the manager of the Reds.
“Robert told me about what he was going to do then another coach told me about Allan Hancock College, so I came up to check it out,” Posey said. “I loved the town, I like the area, I wanted to be in a small town, meet new people and play with different ball players.”
Starting in the fall of last year, Posey contacted Hancock head coach Chris Stevens.
“We actually started talking in November,” Posey said. “He showed me around the campus, showed me the field and I threw a little bullpen in front of him.
“He seemed to like what I could possibly bring to the Hancock team next season — we played against the Packers this summer and the majority of them play at Hancock and I like their game, they play well, they have good pitching and their catchers are phenomenal.”
Posey took an alternate approach to baseball in his senior year at Hart.
“I veered off after my junior year in high school,” Posey explained. “I went and played in another league.”
He played for the Around The Horn Grizzlies, a club team that played games in the spring. The players in the league consisted of high school players and college age players who wanted to play at a higher level than high school. Competing in the league helped Posey prepare to play against college players in the summer. He was nervous when his Reds career began, but he has adapted quite well.
“I’m 18 years old, just out of high school and I’m the opening day pitcher,” Posey explained. “I don’t know if I can matchup well with these guys.
“This is good competition and there are a lot of outstanding players on these teams. It’s fun being able to play baseball and it’s even more fun to be able to compete at such a high level.”
In fact after coming to Santa Maria, Pena saw that Posey could hit well and he uses him in the everyday lineup.
“He has become the quintessential lead-off hitter,” Pena said. “Even when he’s not pitching, I want him out in the field because he’s a great outfielder. He can track down the ball, he has a strong arm and he puts the ball in play.
“He hits the ball on the screws, does his job by putting the ball in play and he knows how to lay down a bunt.”
One of the things that Posey has enjoyed has been the camaraderie with his older teammates and the give and take in the dugout.
“The knowledge behind each individual on my team is incredible,” Posey said. “They bring so much to the table for me as a young baseball player, some of them are in college and I can always rely on them to get advice.”
And the support from his family has been wonderful.
“I’ve never seen any other ball player get more support than I do,” Posey claimed. “My dad drives about 200 miles from Santa Clarita every Friday to watch me pitch.
“My mom comes when she can and I talk to my brothers all the time. My dad is my biggest fan but all of them love to hear of my success and that is cool.”
And also what’s cool to Posey is what he hears from his manager everyday.
“Robert has been a great coach in life and on the field,” he said. “Everyday he comes out and says, ‘Hey what do we get to do today, we get to play baseball.’ “Baseball has taken me to some great places and this is the best place baseball has ever taken me.”