WSU's Taylor Ard happy to be drafted by the Mariners
Three drafts and three years later, things finally appear to have worked out for Taylor Ard.
The 6-foot-1, 230-pound Vancouver native was chosen for the third consecutive year in the Major League Baseball draft. This time, the Mariners picked him in the seventh round (221st overall).
"It was the third time around though, so I wasn't too overwhelmed," he said. "But it's always nice to hear your name called."
Ard, a former Prairie High School standout and Washington State senior, was alone in his Pullman apartment Tuesday when he found out the exciting news. He received a phone call from Joe Ross, Mariners Northwest Area Scout.
Ard was able to speak with his parents, five brothers and one sister and share the good news.
Just last year, Ard was selected by the Boston Red Sox in the 25th round, but he said the money wasn't right.
"It was weird," Ard said. "They weren't ready to make a good offer. They seemed like they just took me to take me.
"Plus, it's hard to get through the system with a team like the Red Sox and New York Yankees."
Ard was happy to return to Pullman for another season. He hit .332, with 12 home runs, 50 runs batted in and 41 runs scored for a Cougars team that went 28-28 and 12-18 in the Pac-12. He was selected first team All-Pac-12 for the second year in a row.
"Felt kind of complete," Ard said of his returning to college for his junior season of baseball and senior year of school. "I pretty much finished my degree in Sports Management. I'm ready to go out and play."
Will Ard sign with the Mariners?
"As long as the contract has the right number on it," he said. "That was my team pretty much while growing up."
He said he will find out his destination in the next couple of days, but he guesses he will report to Everett and play to play for the AquaSox, the Mariners' short-season Class A team.
He hopes to have an immediate impact wherever he plays in the farm system.
"I want to play every day, I play through injuries," Ard said. "I take pride in my (low) strike-out total. I just want to produce, drive in runs and hit the ball over the fence sometimes."
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