Jacob Young, Ponte Vedra and Florida Gators star, selected by Washington Nationals in 7th round of MLB draft

Chris Boyle
St. Augustine Record
Young, a 6-foot, 175-pound redshirt sophomore outfielder, becomes only the third Shark ever selected.

An ever-present in the Florida Gators' lineup the past three seasons, Ponte Vedra grad Jacob Young is heading to the pros.

The Washington Nationals selected Young in the seventh round (pick No. 203) of the 2021 MLB Draft Monday afternoon. Young, a 6-foot, 175-pound redshirt sophomore outfielder, becomes only the third Shark ever selected — joining pitchers Walker Sheller (Kansas City Royals, ninth round, 2016) and Mark Mixon (Los Angeles Dodgers, 26th round, 2019).

Young got word a few picks before the Nationals went on the clock and braced for a moment he had long fantasized.

"I've dreamed about hearing my name called and my picture popping up on TV," Young said. "It was a cool moment. It was good smile, for sure."

The estimated slot value for the 203rd pick is $225,800.

"I'm extremely proud of him," Ponte Vedra Head Coach Tom Stanton said. "He's just a fantastic human being and a fantastic player. Everything he's achieved is no surprise to me.

"Every time I talked to anyone on Florida's staff at the time, I would tell them, 'I know what you have, and I know what you get, but he's a guy that won't come off the field for you. You'll learn to love him.' His baseball IQ and mental makeup are off the charts."

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Young appeared in 131 games for the Gators, including the COVID-shortened 2020 campaign, making 123 starts. He maintained a .330 career batting average, including a .315 mark this year with five home runs and 41 RBI.

Additionally, Young broke Tim Olson's 21-year-old school record with a 30-game hitting streak, ranked second in the SEC with seven outfield assists and earned All-SEC Tournament honors.

Baseball America listed Young among its top 11 sleepers prior to the start of the draft.

Washington envisions Young as a player who could start in centerfield, in a corner or at second base, he said.

"I'm a versatile player that can help a team out in many ways," Young said. "They're getting a player who loves go out and compete. I'm excited to go out and get going.

"I'll keep on finding different ways to get on the field and help the Nationals organization win some games."