Jake Sanford racks up recognition for 2019 campaign

Junior, first baseman Jake Sanford hits the ball during WKU’s game against UAB on March 16. Sanford was just named C-USA Hitter of the Week.

Drake Kizer

Former outfielder Jake Sanford posted one of the most prolific seasons in WKU baseball history this spring, and the collegiate offseason has not stopped the slugger from accumulating awards and recognition.

Here is a list of notable achievements Sanford collected during and after the 2019 campaign as a result of his stellar performance swinging the bat:

MLB Draft

  • The New York Yankees took Sanford with the 105th overall pick in the 2019 MLB Draft on June 4, adding him to their farm system in the third round.

  • After the draft, MLB.com listed Sanford in an article titled “Here’s our favorite Draft pick for all 30 teams” and Baseball America cited him as the Yankees’ “Most Exciting Day 2/3 Pick.”

  • Sanford became the 57th player drafted in WKU baseball history, and the fourth-highest Hilltopper ever taken. Sanford is only the fourth WKU player ever drafted in the top three rounds of the MLB Draft.

  • Upon signing his deal with the Yankees on June 6, Sanford became the 111th Hilltopper to sign a professional contract. Sanford received a contract worth $597,500 from the Yankees, according to a tweet posted by Jim Callis on June 1.

  • At pick No. 105, Sanford was the highest Nova Scotia native to ever be taken in the MLB Draft, passing pitcher Steve Nelson, who was taken 160th overall in the fifth round by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2001.

  • If Sanford appears in the Major Leagues, he would be only the third Nova Scotian to do so since 1900 — joining lefty Vince Horsman and fellow outfielder Rick Lisi on the short list.

  • Started his professional career at the Class A Short Season Staten Island Yankees, and has hit 4-for-13 with a .308/.400/.538 slash line in his first four games.


  • American Baseball Coaches Association First Team All-American

  • National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association First Team All-American

  • Perfect Game/Rawlings First Team All-American

  • Collegiate Baseball Newspaper First Team All-American

  • D1Baseball.com First Team All-American

  • 11Point7: The College Baseball Podcast All-American

  • Baseball America Second Team All-American

  • National Baseball Coaches Association All-Region First Team

Conference USA

  • First regular-season C-USA Triple Crown in the league’s 24-year history

  • Posted a .402 batting average, 22 homers and 65 RBIs to lead all C-USA batters

  • 2018-19 Michael L. Slive C-USA Male Athlete of the Year

  • C-USA Player of the Year

  • All-C-USA First Team

  • C-USA Newcomer of the Year


  • Sanford was one of 26 semifinalists for the 2019 Dick Howser Trophy, which is college baseball’s most prestigious individual award.

  • When WKU’s season ended, Sanford led all Division I hitters with a .805 slugging percentage, ranked second with 178 total bases and tied for sixth in home runs.

  • Posted a .398/.483/.805 batting line with 88 hits, 178 total bases, 22 home runs, 20 doubles, 66 RBIs and 65 runs scored for WKU

  • Became the first Division I hitter with 20 home runs and 20 doubles since 2017

  • Produced a .412/.444/.765 slash line in 18 plate appearances against Power 5 opponents

  • Started all 56 games while playing every single inning in the outfield

  • John O. Oldham Male Student-Athlete of the Year at the 2019 WKU TOPSY Awards

  • Best Male Record-Breaking Performance at the 2019 WKU TOPSY Awards for hitting 14 home runs in the month of March

Sports Editor Drake Kizer can be reached at 270-745-2653 and [email protected]. Follow Drake on Twitter at @drakekizer_.