AHC Baseball Players move on to Professional Baseball Careers

Seven former Bulldogs are now playing pro ball.

Jordan SechlerJUNE 13, 2013 -- Two more Allan Hancock College alumni were drafted during the 2013 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft on Saturday, June 8, bringing the total count of former Bulldogs playing professional baseball to seven.

Pitchers Chuck Buchanan (09-10) and Jordan Sechler (10-11) (pictured at left) were drafted in the 18th and 19th rounds, both by the Atlanta Braves organization.  They join River Stevens (2012), Brandon Creath (09-10), Mickey Jannis (2008), Jeff Farnham (06-07) and Jimmy Van Ostrand (03-04) as former Bulldogs drafted.

“We’re proud to have seven former Bulldogs in professional baseball,” said Hancock head coach Chris Stevens.  “They’re all exemplary players and we’re extremely proud of their accomplishments.”

Allan Hancock College has been part of the path to professional baseball for 39 players since 1969.  During that same time, another 230 players have transferred from Hancock to play for four-year universities.

“We talk about our players using Hancock as a stepping stone to a four-year university,” Stevens said.  “We don’t want our players to finish their careers at Hancock, especially not academically.  I want every player that comes through our program to transfer and earn their bachelor’s degree, and if an athletic scholarship or professional baseball offer comes along, then that’s just icing on the cake.”

Van Ostrand was able to transfer from Hancock to Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, in 2004.  He was drafted in the eighth round by the Houston Astros in 2006.

“Academically, I felt prepared when I arrived at Cal Poly, and that was an important factor for me.” he said.

Van Ostrand came to Hancock as a pitcher, but made the switch to outfield while playing for the Bulldogs.  The training and support that he received at Hancock was a big part of his early success, according to Van Ostrand, who broke spring training camp in 2013 as a member of the Triple-A Washington Nationals.

“Coach Stevens spent a lot of time with us and made us better,” Van Ostrand said.  “For sure, I left a better hitter than when I came into the program.”

Coming from Canada, where the weather wasn’t always ideal, Van Ostrand said that making the move to California was just what he needed.  He had the opportunity to return to Santa Maria for the rededication of the new John Osborne Field in January 2013.

“The facilities at Hancock are always available to you, the coaches are always available, and you really get back everything you put in and more,” Van Ostrand said.

“That new field is something pretty cool that the program has going for it, and it’s only going to get better,” he added.

Farnham is also playing Triple-A ball in the New York Yankees organization, for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.  He transferred from Hancock to New Mexico State in 2007 and was drafted in the 27th round by the Yankees in 2009.  During his time in Santa Maria, Farnham said he matured as a player and a person.

“Coach Stevens helped me a lot with my catching, but I think he helped me even more with my overall confidence and helped me to realize that I could play at this level,” Farnham said.  “I really feel like I grew up a lot.”

Other Bulldogs in the pros include Creath, who is working his way up and most recently pitched for the Palm Beach Cardinals, a Class A Advanced team.  Creath played for Embry-Riddle before being drafted in the 44th round by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2011.

River Stevens was drafted directly from Hancock in 2012 in the ninth round by the San Diego Padres and is currently with the Class A Eugene Emeralds.  Mickey Jannis transferred to Cal State University Bakersfield and was drafted in the 44th round by the Tampa Bay Rays in 2010.  He is currently with the Class A Hudson Valley Renegades in the frontier league.

Getting a degree is the ultimate goal, and one that every one of his players can achieve, Stevens said.  He and his coaching staff are always working to do everything they can to help players receive that quality education and to be successful in school and in life.

“Coach is all for helping out in any way he could with recruiting and getting his guys out to four-years,” Farnham said.

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Last Modified Jan 17, 2014