Central Michigan University’s top pitcher is potentially headed to baseball’s biggest stage and its most esteemed organization.
Junior right-hand pitcher Jordan Foley will forgo his senior year to play Major League Baseball after being drafted Friday by the New York Yankees in the fifth round of the 2014 MLB Draft. Foley was drafted 152 overall.
Foley led the Mid-American Conference with a 3.69 ERA and went 6-5 in his final year at CMU. He was the first Mid-American Conference and Michigan-based player picked up during the first two days of this year’s draft.
“These past few days have been surreal,” Foley said. “When you are a kid, you put yourself in this moment but you don’t think about all the hard work that it takes to get here. You just want to enjoy the glory that I am feeling right about now. I’m still waiting for all of this to set in.”
Born in The Colony, Texas, Foley has been a top prospect for most of his young career. As a high school junior, Foley held down a 0.84 ERA, catching the attention of MLB scouts and also that of CMU head coach Steve Jaksa.
“You have to think about (Foley’s) complete body of work,” Jaksa said. “Would we have liked him to stay for his senior year (at CMU)? Yeah. But is (he) doing what is best for his career? That’s true, too.”
Foley is the Chippewas’ highest draft choice since the Toronto Blue Jays selected Chad Pleiness in 2002. He is the 10th Chippewa to be taken during the first five rounds of the MLB draft.
“The coaches at CMU delivered on everything they promised,” Foley said. “These guys on my team have become my best friends for life. I’ll never forget my time in Mount Pleasant.”
Jaksa, echoed Foley’s sentiment, saying CMU was lucky to have the dominant lefty for as long as it did.
“He gave us a chance to win every time he took the ball,” Jaksa said “You really can’t ask for much more from a guy. His leadership qualities were incredible. That was also a huge value to us.”
There was little doubt in Jaksa’s mind that Foley would sign when it was announced the ace pitcher had been selected by the “Bronx Bombers,” he said.
“We had a pretty good feel for the situation,” he said. “We knew what Jordan was asking for and some of the things he was trying to accomplish when he got here. I’m really happy for him.”
For Foley, focusing on his career and it’s undeniable upside has become priority No. 1.
“Things have been happening pretty fast, but I’m really excited,” he said.
“This has been a dream come true.”