Jake Sanford, the team’s third-round draft pick in 2019 and a budding star with good power, was allegedly stealing equipment including bats and gloves from his teammates’ lockers and selling them online, according to NJ.com. When the club learned of the accusations, it launched an investigation that led to Sanford getting his walking papers a week ago.
“He was scamming other players,” a source told the outlet.
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, who had been playing minor league ball for the club’s Florida Complex League team, allegedly pestered his teammates for their equipment to sell online, but also just stole it from their lockers at times, the source said.
The 24-year-old outfielder, who played college baseball at Western Kentucky University, was signed for almost $600,000 after being drafted. Last season, the lefty batted .285 with 16 homers and 61 RBI in the low minor leagues.
Sanford’s college coach was John Pawlowski, who also coached former Yankee Brett Gardner at the College of Charleston. Coaches and scouts compared Sanford’s skills to Gardner’s.
“If this one can do what Gardy did, then we’ve had a hell of a Draft on its own,” Yankees director of scouting Damon Oppenheimer told MLB.com at the time. “He really reminds us of [former Rockies All-Star] Brad Hawpe. He’s got huge power; it’s easy, he drives the ball the other way. The combination of the power and the speed he has, being a guy who is kind of young and just starting at this thing, it made him real attractive to us.”
Sanford signed with the Ottawa Titans of the Frontier League on Tuesday, according to The Associated Press.
People on social media claimed they were also victimized by Sanford. Some accused him of taking their money for autographed equipment that he never delivered.
The Yankees have released 2019 3rd Round Pick Jake Sanford.
Sanford was a Top 30 Prospect as recently as last season and slashed .285/.356/.467 across 101 games in Tampa and Hudson Valley last season.
He was strangely left off a roster last month and was released Thursday.
— Yankees Top Prospect Watch (@NYY_Prospects) May 14, 2022
Shane Ronan, of Tampa, claimed he bid $75 on Twitter for a pair of Sanford-signed baseball gloves, but Sanford never showed up to deliver them at an agreed-upon meeting place.
“Then he ghosted me,” Ronan said. “He got a bit nasty with me about it.”
Matt Shea said in a Facebook memorabilia group that he also was a victim, according to NJ.com.
“Anyone wanna hear how I got scammed out of 600 [dollars] by Jake Sanford of the Yankees?” Shea wrote on May 9. “If he doesn’t pay up by tonight it will be over 2.5 months and that’s time to spill the beans and get this guy to be the biggest scum in milb history.”
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