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'My heart was racing' | Jared McKenzie reflects on MLB Draft Day

Draft day is nerve wracking, but it all worked out for Baylor's Jared McKenzie during Day 2 of the draft.

WACO, Texas — Jared McKenzie played in plenty of nerve wracking situations with the Baylor Bears, but waiting for a call for draft day might have outweighed all of them. 

“My heart was racing," he said of draft day. "It all worked out how it was supposed to work out.”

McKenzie was selected 141st overall during the fifth round of the MLB Draft by the Washington Nationals. His pick was called around 2:30 pm on Monday, but his day began much earlier than that. 

“I literally woke up and looked at my phone and it said 4:35," he said. "It was 4:35 in the morning, I was just so nervous." 

After playing nine-holes of golf and inviting his friends over, the nerves were really going, waiting as he kept his cell phone nearby, waiting for a call from his advisor. 

The phone finally rang, and news that the Nationals were interested in him was relayed. 

“I wasn’t gonna get too excited until I saw my name pop up on that TV and when I did, it was just the biggest weight off my shoulders.”

McKenzie grew up in Round Rock, then attended Baylor, and will now head for the pros. He knew when the season ended that he was ready for something bigger. 

“I love Baylor, absolutely love Baylor, best three years I’ve ever had," McKenzie said. "At the end of the day, I knew I didn’t have my best year last year and I could’ve had gone out there another year and have a great year, however I knew, hey I'm ready to play pro ball.”

He leaves Baylor with quite a few impressive accolades. At the top are his 2021 All-American honors and the title of the third-highest batting average in program history. 

Looking back on his career, he cited his favorite memory as a game against Oklahoma State this past Spring when the Bears erased an eight-run deficit thanks to his two home runs, one being a grand slam. 

He won't forget Baylor as he heads for the bigs, but can't wait to be a Washington National, either. 

“I’ve been around baseball my whole life and I love it. I get this opportunity to continue to do what I love, I can’t wait." 

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