Derek Toadvine will always be loyal to his Kenton Ridge Cougars. He was with his former high school teammate and friend, Michael Bennett, at an outlet mall near Kent on Saturday afternoon when he found out he had been drafted by the New York Yankees in the 22nd round with the 674th overall pick.
Toadvine and Bennett planned to go to Akron later in the day to watch the Kenton Ridge softball team in the state championship game. A win by his alma mater would cap an amazing day for Toadvine, a Kent State junior who became the sixth player in Kenton Ridge history to be drafted.
“Overall, I was glad to see my name,” Toadvine said. “It finally happened. I had some earlier projections, and I was sliding a little bit. That’s how it goes. I’m just real excited just to see my name associated with the New York Yankees. You grow up loving or hating the Yankees. They always have the best players. It’s an honor.”
Toadvine hit .297 with a .382 on-base percentage for the Golden Flashes this spring. He ranked second in the Mid-American Conference with 58 runs scored and 29 stolen bases.
Toadvine anticipates that he will sign, though the Yankees signed only six of the last 21 players they drafted last year. He could end up with the State Island Yankees, the team’s short-season Class A team in the New York-Penn League.
“We’ll just have to negotiate a price,” Toadvine said, “but I kind of have an idea of how it’s going to go.”
2nd Ledbetter drafted: David Ledbetter became the first baseball player from Cedarville University to be drafted in 26 years on Friday when the Rangers took him in the third round. It took less than 24 hours for another Yellow Jacket to be drafted.
David’s identical twin, Ryan Ledbetter, was taken by the Rangers in the 19th round Saturday afternoon. He was the 580th overall pick.
“We were all very excited,” Ryan said. “Praise be to God, we’re both going to the same team, which is unheard of. It would have been a lot harder (to go to a different team). It’s nice to have a brother there, someone you know, especially a workout partner. We’re both on the same program.”