HOPEWELL — Every kid that has played countless hours on a sandlot growing up has dreamed of making it to the big leagues. Canandaigua native, and FLCC alum, Tanner Cooper can now say he has fulfilled that dream. The right-handed pitcher and infielder was selected by the Cincinnati Reds with the 1044th overall pick in the 35th round of the MLB draft.
“My whole family was around the computer waiting to see if it would happen,” Cooper told Finger Lakes Community College in reference to his draft reaction. “When my name popped up, I got chills and everyone around me started yelling.
“I had a coach tell me that I wouldn’t play Division I baseball and wouldn’t get drafted. Proving people like that wrong has just been an outstanding bonus.”
Despite this past season being Cooper’s only season in a Lakers uniform, he produced a stellar season at the plate as he had a .411 batting average, .521 on base percentage and a .714 slugging percentage. Cooper also cracked in 79 hits with 16 doubles, nine triples, a school record 71 RBI’s and 57 runs scored.
He was a dual threat on the mound as well. Cooper pitched in 12 games finishing with an 8-4 record, allowing 45 hits, 17 runs and a 1.62 ERA. He also had a school record 136 strikeouts.
Cooper also garnered Mid-State Athletic Conference and NJCAA Region III Player of the Year honors.