Disappointment brought on by an abbreviated Major League Baseball draft quickly turned into a dream realized for Elijah Dunham.
The now former IU outfielder has inked a free agent deal with the New York Yankees.
Dunham discussed his decision on his Twitter page:
“After much consideration of what is best for my baseball career I have decided to sign a deal with the New York Yankees. It’s time for me to take my opportunity and bet on myself. I’m extremely confident in my abilities and know the Yankees can continue to develop them at the highest level. I first want to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for blessing me with this chance. Also a huge thanks to Coach Mercer, the unbelievable staff, and teammates at IU who have helped me come to this point. I don’t know where I’d be without them. It’s time to get to work.”
Dunham started all 15 games for the Hoosiers in 2020, batting .390 on the season with a team-best seven doubles, one home run, 11 RBI and 12 runs scored according to a release by IU. He led the team with an on-base percentage of .493 and also posted a .559 slugging percentage – second-best on the team.
“Elijah is one of the best workers I’ve ever coached, a world class competitor and an even person,” said Indiana head baseball coach Jeff Mercer in a release by the school. “I wish him all the best on his professional journey and will be his No. 1 fan.”
The Evansville, Ind. native totaled seven multi-hit and a team-high four multi-RBI games on the season and was ranked No. 39 on D1Baseball’s Top 100 Hitter of 2019-20 Seasons List. Dunham was selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 40th round (Pick 1204) of the 2019 MLB Draft.
A Third-Team All-Big Ten honoree in 2019, Dunham appeared in 94 games for the Hoosiers in his career, earning 75 starts. He hit .312 with 25 doubles, nine home runs and 48 RBI while slugging .496 and posting an on-base percentage of .429.
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