Here’s your bizarre baseball story for the day, as the New York Yankees are now down a former third round pick.
Outfield prospect Jake Sanford, who had hit .278/.341/.497 (123 wRC+) last year at High-A, has been released from the organization for shameful reasons:
Sources: The Yankees cut third-round pick Jake Sanford after he allegedly stole bats and gloves from teammates and tried to sell them online. He also allegedly scammed fans, selling autographed equipment and never delivering: https://t.co/SzalxLAqjc
— Brendan Kuty (@BrendanKutyNJ) May 18, 2022
Sanford was the Yankees’ third round pick out of Western Kentucky back in 2019, and received a $600,000 signing bonus.
From the NJ.com article:
The Yankees cut Sanford over allegations that he repeatedly hounded teammates for their equipment to sell online, while also occasionally swiping it from their lockers, a person with knowledge of the situation told NJ Advance Media on Wednesday. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly.
“He was scamming other players,” the person said.
According to allegations on social media, Sanford victimized fans, too. While he allegedly sold equipment he could get his hands on — legally and illegally — fans accused him of defrauding them by taking money in advance for autographed equipment he never delivered.
Sanford, 24, has since signed with a team in the independent Frontier League, and if these allegations are true, it’s going to be all the more challenging for him to get back into affiliated ball. Previous to this news, it seems like Sanford was viewed as a rising prospect in the Yankees’ system (praise from Baseball America late last year, honorable mention type spot in FanGraphs’ Yankees rankings this year), and he was being highlighted as something of a local hero:
Jake Sanford (Dartmouth, Nova Scotia 🇨🇦) worked his way up from community college baseball in Nebraska, to a Division-I NCAA program in Kentucky, to becoming a New York Yankees prospect.
— North Atlantic GameDay (@NorthAtlanticGD) March 3, 2021