Glendale college product Akins picked by Minnesota Twins

There was an expectation before the 2016 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft that Glendale Community College standout Jared Akins would hear his named called.

The La Salle High alumnus had committed to Fresno State University, but was still waiting to see if a major league team would come calling.

Akins went undrafted in 2016, much to the benefit of the Bulldogs, and turned in a fabulous 2017 campaign with Fresno State.

A year later, Akins was not overlooked, as the junior outfielder was selected in the 13th round of the draft with the No. 376 pick by the American League Central-leading Minnesota Twins on Wednesday morning.

Wednesday was the third and final day of the three-day-long baseball draft and Akins found out his fate while preparing for the day.

“I was just making some coffee when I started getting some text messages and calls,” Akins said. “I just figured that it was the draft and went online to check it out.

“It’s a dream come true and I’ve worked hard my whole life for this. It didn’t happen for me last year, but it happened today and this is just the beginning.”

Akins was one of two area players drafted and was picked ahead of La Cañada Flintridge resident Alex Cornwell, who was chosen in the 37th round by the Chicago Cubs.

Akins served as Fresno State’s starting left fielder and batted .328 with 75 hits, 48 runs batted in, 37 runs, 11 home runs, a team-leading 23 doubles and a .581 slugging percentage.

Perhaps the biggest honor for the one-time Arroyo Seco Saint was being named to the All-Mountain West Tournament team after batting .409 with four homers, seven RBI and nine runs in five games as the Bulldogs marched to the championship game and fell versus San Diego State, 5-3, on May 28.

Prior to last season, Akins earned Western State Conference South Division Player of the Year honors with the Vaqueros in 2016. That season, he hit .379 with six home runs, 36 runs batted in, nine doubles, 18 walks, 14 stolen bases and a .468 on-base percentage.

“I’ve been thinking about my future since Monday and I’m going to hold back a few days before I make a decision,” said Akins when asked if he would sign or return to Fresno State for a senior season.

At Glendale Community College, there was plenty of joy.

“Everyone I talked to, the entire coaching staff is pumped and they’re excited for him,” GCC coach Chris Cicuto said. “We knew it was going to happen, it was just a matter of how early he was going to go.”

Cicuto said he was informed by a representative from the California Community College Baseball Coaches Assn. that Akins was the first California community college player selected in this year’s draft.

The honor served as vindication.

“Last year, Jared was just coming into his own and was noticed by a few scouts,” Cicuto said. “He didn’t get picked, but that’s part of the process.

“I know he was disappointed last year, but at the same time he worked hard at a great program, he set himself up for success and now he’s in a position to get into major league baseball.”

andrew.campa@latimes.com

Twitter: @campadresports

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