Jake Sanford Brings Big Power To Pro Ball
Don't count out Jake Sanford from reaching the big leagues one day. The Canadian outfielder already has journeyed from high school in Nova Scotia to college at Western Kentucky to the Yankees as the club's third-round pick in June.
"His high school season was one weekend,’’ scouting director Damon Oppenheimer said of Sanford, who attended Auburn Drive High in Dartmouth, N.S., where he was named the school's athlete of the year each year from 2014 to 2016.
From there the 6-foot-2, 215-pound Sanford went to McCook (Neb.) JC and landed a scholarship at Western Kentucky, where he was the Conference USA player of the year in 2019, when he led all Division I hitters with an .805 slugging percentage.
"He is a power and speed guy who can launch balls to all fields and can run,’’ Oppenheimer said of the highest-drafted player ever from Nova Scotia. That honor previously belonged to Steve Nelson, a Dodgers fifth-round pick in 2001. "He found a junior college and got a scholarship to Western Kentucky and prepared to perform. His ceiling is high.’’
His lone season at WKU certainly gave the impression there is more to come. In 56 games the lefthanded hitter batted .398 with 22 home runs and 66 RBIs while posting a 1.288 OPS. Scouts laud Sanford for his plus-plus raw power and strong frame, though he faces a probable future in left field or at first base, which places pressure on his bat and on his offensive production.
The 21-year-old Sanford reported to short-season Staten Island of the New York-Penn League in late June after signing.
— The Yankees drafted New Jersey high school shortstop Anthony Volpe at No. 30 overall in the first round out of Delbarton High. They think so highly of the 18-year-old that they plan to send the 5-foot-11, 180-pound Volpe to Rookie-level Pulaski of the Appalachian League.