John Masklee began his baseball journey in Totowa, N.J. At a young age, Masklee developed a keen understanding of the game. Masklee helped his teams to win several titles. Around this time Masklee also began taking lessons from The Bull Pen founder Derek Hurley. Their relationship was formed and flourished, which led to Masklee being named the head pitching coordinator at The Bull Pen Scouting & Training Facility in March 2013 under Hurley.
In 2001, Masklee attended Seton Hall Preparatory High School in West Orange, N.J. There he would earn several “Player of the Week” honors, a “Pitcher of the Week” honor by the NJ Star-Ledger newspaper, three varsity baseball letters and two state championship titles (2003 and 2005). During these years, the school was ranked as high as #4 nationally, and never dropped below #20 in the country. This was no accident; Masklee pitched alongside many players who have gone on to professional careers as well:
Eric Duncan — #27 overall pick to NY Yankees
Rick Porcello — #27 overall pick to Detroit Tigers
Dan Merklinger — 6th round pick to Milwaukee Brewers
Nick Christiani — 13th round pick to Cincinnati Reds
Bobby Dombrowski — Baltimore Orioles and CANAM Independent League
Graduating with a perfect 4.0 GPA and 1270/1600 SAT, John attended Rollins College in Winterpark, Fla., where he received an athletic scholarship as well as an academic scholarship. After a coaching change, Masklee received an athletic scholarship to Long Island University, in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he reunited with Hurley. Masklee finished his college baseball career at Montclair State University in Montclair, N.J. In 2009, Masklee and his team made it to the NCAA Division III regional playoffs. He was tied for first among his pitching staff with 16 appearances, and was second in Wins (5), Innings (53.2), and Strike Outs (40). As a senior, Masklee posted 75.1 Innings Pitched, 58 Strike Outs, and another 5 Wins for his team.
After college, Masklee signed a free agent contract to play with the Carlsbad Bats of the Pecos League, an independent professional league in Texas, New Mexico and Colorado. For the Bats, Masklee earned the franchise’s first win against the defending league champions, the Alpine Cowboys.
At the end of the Pecos season, Masklee was called by the New York Federals of the CANAM Independent Baseball League in the Northeast. Joining the team with only 25 games remaining, Masklee made 12 appearances for 11.1 Innings Pitched, 13 Strike Outs, and led the team with a 3.96 ERA.
Masklee graduated from Montclair State with a B.A. in political science.