After making college players swing and miss, Juneau pitcher Dylan Baker is hoping to be a hit in the big leagues.
Baker today was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the fifth round of the Major League Baseball Draft.
The 6-foot-3 right-hander with a rocket arm was arguably the top pitching prospect out of junior college this year.
He went 13-0 with a 1.91 ERA as a sophomore at Western Nevada College, striking out 126 in 84 innings.
Still, Baker had to deal with the stereotype that baseball players don’t come out of The Last Frontier.
“Whenever you talked to people, they’re like, ‘Oh you’re from Alaska, no one is good from there.’ I mean, we’re just out here playing baseball, there are good people,” Baker told me.
“We work our ass off just as hard as they do, just because the competition isn’t as good doesn’t mean you can’t have good players.
“I take a lot of pride being from Alaska because everybody thinks because you’re from Alaska you’re never going to be good. It makes me happy to shove it in their face a little bit.”
Other notable draft picks from Alaska:
1990 Marshall Boze, Soldotna, 12th Brewers
1994 Trajan Langdon, Anchorage, 6th Padres
2000 Brian Montalbo, Anchorage, 4th Braves
2001 Chad Bentz, Juneau, 7th Expos
2006 Corey Madden, Anchorage, 21st, Marlins
2009 Matt Way, Sitka, 5th, Phillies