Butch Dill/Associated Press
T.J. Sikkema was selected in the first round (No. 38 overall) by the New York Yankees in last year’s MLB June amateur draft.
With the 2020 MLB draft beginning Wednesday, Sikkema is working with his girlfriend, Amanda Brainerd, as a DoorDash driver in his native Iowa rather than pitching professionally.
“It’s pretty good money,” Sikkema told Tommy Birch of the Des Moines Register. “We’re making anywhere from $15 to $25 an hour.”
However, the 21-year-old southpaw clarified that the main goal is not the money but to help people.
The Yankees reportedly released 45 minor leaguers last week as the COVID-19 pandemic has prevented the 2020 MLB and Minor League Baseball seasons from beginning on time, but Sikkema and other remaining rostered players are expected to continue receiving a $400 weekly stipend through at least June.
Birch outlined how Sikkema has experienced the pandemic:
“On March 13, MLB suspended spring training. Sikkema got stuck in Tampa Bay. When a pair of New York’s minor league players tested positive for coronavirus, Sikkema was forced to stay and quarantine with some of his teammates for 14 days. He returned to Iowa toward the end of March where he’s been ever since, living with his parents in DeWitt.”
Sikkema posted a 7-4 record and 1.32 ERA—the third-best ERA in the NCAA and best in the SEC—as a junior at the University of Missouri in 2019. He left the Tigers with 258 career collegiate strikeouts.
The MiLB’s Opening Day for full-season leagues was scheduled for April 9.