Yankees best 2019 draft pick is Jake Sanford according to MLB.com
By Carl Scott
The Yankees selected Western Kentucky outfielder Jake Sanford with their third pick in the 2019 MLB Draft. According to MLB.com staff writers Jonathan Mayo, Jim Callis and Mike Rosenbaum — Sanford was the Yanks top pick.
Jake Sanford may not be your prototypical Yankees draft pick. He hasn’t played baseball for long, which means he could carry some risk, but he’s good enough for the greatest franchise in sports to take a chance on him. So what makes the selection of the 21-year-old Sanford so unique?
The Yankees may have found the next Brett Gardner in draft pick Jake Sanford. The Yankees drafted Both Gardner and Sanford were in the third round, and they both got off to late starts in their baseball careers.
Gardner was a walk-on at Charleston, and Sanford was a walk-on at McCook Community College in Nebraska after passing on a volleyball scholarship from Dalhouse University in Nova Scotia, Canada. According to the New York Post, after a few standout years at McCook, Sanford transferred to Western Kentucky.
The funny thing about Gardner and Sanford is they both had the same college coach, John Pawlowski.
"“He’s an athlete, he can run balls down – and he’s just getting started in baseball,” Pawlowski said. “The more time and effort he put into it, he already has tremendous power and good bat-to-bat skills. There’s tremendous upside there. He’s got a bright future ahead of him. ““What a great story,” Pawlowski told MLB.com. “It can’t help but jog my memory about when the Yankees selected Gardner in 2005.”"
His athleticism helped him transition from first base to centerfield quickly. Outside of versatility as a fielder, Sanford’s greatest asset is his bat. I would bet his extravagant numbers caught the attention of the MLB.com staff writers. Here’s what they had to say about the Yankees third-round steal:
"Unknown when he transferred from McCook (Neb.) CC, Sanford won the first regular-season triple crown in Conference USA history (.402-22-65) and leads NCAA Division I in slugging (.805). His well-above-average raw power produces legendary batting practice displays, and he has plus speed as well."
Say what you want about the MLB First-Year Player Draft not being as extravagant as the NFL and NBA Drafts – it’s just as important. The foundation of every MLB team, nowadays especially, is built through the draft. Gone are the days of buying titles. All organizations need cream-of-the-crop scouts to find the next core of their team for years to come.
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It’s nice to see the Yankees aren’t missing a beat when it comes to the draft even though they have a championship-caliber roster that will compete for the next several years at least. The Yankees had a plan to select mostly college players, and they also wanted to load up on pitching.
On the first day of the draft, they selected high school shortstop Anthony Volpe in the first round. After picking their first shortstop in the first round since Derek Jeter, the Yankees drafted a total of 40 more players with 31 of them coming from college. Headlining those college players was the first ever Conference-USA Triple Crown winner, outfielder Jake Sanford.