Louisa, Ky. — The Arizona Diamondbacks selected former Bulldog baseball star Jackson Feltner in the 8th round of the Major League Draft on Monday.
Jackson Feltner at Stella Moore field way back when
Feltner was the 235th player selected and is the highest draft pick in school history and only the third player picked in the MLB Draft out of Lawrence Co.
Chandler Shepherd was drafted out of the University of Kentucky in the 13th round by the Boston Red Sox in 2014. Shepherd was also drafted straight out of high school in 2011 but chose to go to Kentucky.
Steve Blevins was drafted in 2008 out of Marshall University in the 21st round by the Minnesota Twins.
Feltner is also the third highest Morehead St. Eagle ever drafted behind only Jon Rauch who was drafted in the third round by the Chicago White Sox and Aaron Leasher who was drafted in the sixth round by the San Diego Padres in 2017.
In 154 career games as an Eagle, Feltner smacked 41 Homers with 141 RBIs. His .376 career batting average ranks tied for fourth in program history while his on-base percentage of .471 ranks second all time.
Feltner will fly to Arizona on Friday to officially begin his professional baseball career.
Feltner with 2023 Home Run Derby Champion Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in Baltimore.
Louisa Native Jackson Feltner
“… Obviously it’s been a roller coaster of emotions throughout the day. I really had no idea what was going to happen. We got the call just a couple of picks before it was officially announced. Just really excited and ready to get to work.”
“… It’s awesome to be able to represent your hometown. I’m extremely proud to be from here and I don’t take that lightly. I watched how hard the guys before me like Chandler Shepherd and Stevie Blevins worked because sometimes you don’t get the same opportunities like someone from California or Florida. I think coming from a smaller town requires that hard work a blue collar mentality and I think that’s why I’m here today.”
“… After my freshman year, me and my dad had a talk and he just asked if I wanted to go play at the next level and I said yes, I love the game and he flat out said right now you’re not good enough and that I would have to put the work in and I did and once I got to Morehead I continued to work and tried to be the hardest worker and I will try to continue the same thing that I have been doing just see how far we can take this thing. I think that is the biggest motivation. It definitely was a reality check when we had that conversation and it was necessary for sure. And really glad he did it and he didn’t sugar coat anything.”
“… Honestly I thought my phone was going to blow up, I’ve gotten text from guys I played high school with, both summer league teams and the guys from Morehead as well. It’s pretty cool for everyone to reach out and i was franticly trying to get back to all of them.”
“… Both sides of my family are sports crazy and it’s pretty neat to be in that bloodline. All of them have played competitive sports at the high levels and I seen that growing up and they kinda laid the blueprint and that’s what I’ve been molded into. Pretty awesome honestly and I couldn’t have done it without them.”
“… We had some family over and once I got the call there was some hugs, high fives and plenty of tears from everyone here and that was a special moment for all of us.”
“… I don’t really know too much right now other than I’m flying out Friday to Arizona and will probably be placed in their complex league which has already started around the Phoenix area but I will know more once I get out there. I’ve got some stuff to do around here and go back to Morehead and grab some things but will continue to train until I leave Friday.”
Lawrence Co. Head Coach Travis Feltner
“… First of all I am dad only now, I still Coach but with this deal I am dad only. I moved beyond his coach a long time ago. I’m not sure what he said but for me it’s just a dream and I’ve cried like a baby tonight. Around baseball we have had a lot of good times and I can remember him playing t-ball and then seeing his name come across the television set is a dream come true. Everybody little boy that I know dreams of being a major league ball player no matter where you’re from. And the 48 year old version of me is happier tonight than if he would have been me getting drafted.”
“… Melinda and I are so happy and so thankful, God has blessed us and we have done our best to live our life for the lord and have always asked him to bless them and hedge them up and he has. I haven’t asked him to help Jackson become a major league ball player but I have asked him to keep blessing him. It’s an absolute dream come true, I have encountered a kid that has worked harder than him to get to this point. During his freshman year he got in the lineup by default because we had a bunch of injuries and we talked after that year and I was up front with him and asked what he wanted to do and he said he loved the game and he absolutely went to work. He stayed in the weight room and completely changed his body and had earned everything that he has gotten. He has took advantage of every opportunity just like he did at Morehead and hopefully he does with the Diamondbacks as well. I told him every where that you have been you have been the hardest worker. I told him I am out of advice for him this is way beyond my pay grade.”
“… First off Randy Keeton gave me an opportunity here and I’m forever thankful for that. Dave Wheeler signed as a free agent in the Reds organization and played some pro ball. Stevie Blevins was drafted by the Twins after going to Cincinnati and then finishing up at Marshall. When I got here he was around 12 and was absolutely dominating little league and then hit into middle and high school and worked his hind end off and is one the most talented kids and was a great hitter as well, so proud to watch him in college and then into pro ball as well. And then of course Chandler Shepherd who was in kindergarten when I got here so I literally watched him grow up and we are still close to this day. One of the most talented people I have ever been around whether he was throwing a football or on the basketball court just a super athlete all around. Gifted wise I don’t think Jackson fits into that mold but he is our first position player drafted from here and a first baseman at that which is that much harder. Both of those guys were pitchers even though they could play anywhere in the field and both of them could have hit at the collegiate level I firmly believe that. Jackson has done it a little bit different but he had to. He sacrificed and lot of people are not willing to do that this day and age. He lifted in the morning and in the afternoon and all of his hard work came into fruition today. I tell the kids in our program right now that you are going to get out what you put into it. It is a huge mark for our school, our community and our program. We have had three kids drafted in the last 15 years and that is remarkable honestly.”
“… Proud day for our family, We lost Darrell Ratliff about five years ago and man he enjoyed following all six of his grandkids and boy was he proud. Him and Sharon raised Jackson and Kensley before they started school. He loved watching Jackson play baseball and he would have lived down at Morehead the last three years. He loved watching all his grands play ball. My mom and dad boy I can’t speak enough that the lord has allowed them to be in good enough health to get to see this. They have traveled everywhere and anywhere to watch. I guarantee right now she is on her iPad trying to figure out how she is going to get to watch all this unfold. To be able to share that moment with my son and their grandson only one word comes to mind and that is special and I give all the credit to the lord. I will guarantee you one thing I will never forget tonight.”