McCook Community College graduate Jake Sanford was drafted by the New York Yankees in the third round Tuesday of the MLB draft, just one year after taking his last at bats for the Indians. The 21-year-old former MCC walk-on from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, was the 105th player taken in this year’s draft. After graduating from MCC in May of 2018 he transferred to Western Kentucky where he led all NCAA Division 1 hitters with an .805 slugging percentage and was second in the country with 178 total bases. His 22 homers ranked sixth in the NCAA.
This year for the Hilltoppers, Sanford was named the 2019 Conference USA Player of the year as well as being named newcomer of the year by winning the conference triple crown batting .398 with 22 homeruns and 66 RBIs. He is one of 24 Division I players named to be a Dick Howser Trophy semifinalist, a trophy considered to be college baseball’s equivalent to the Heisman Trophy. (The winner will be unveiled on June 14.) Sanford’s success at the Division I level comes as no surprise to his former coach at MCC.
“We are extremely happy for Jake,” said MCC Coach Jon Olsen. “I knew watching Jake over his two years at McCook, he had a chance for some big things, when you combine his natural physical ability, his work ethic, and his power as a left handed bat, he had a chance to be special,” Olsen said. Olsen said he had multiple pro scouts contact him trying to gather as much information on Jake prior to the MLB draft. Sanford said in the month or so leading up to this week’s MLB draft he met with more than 25 teams, with scouts talking with him and administering eye exams and brain tests.