RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Prior to the draft, Benedictine infielder Jamari Baylor traveled to Philadelphia and worked out for the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Now the Cadet senior hopes that he’ll soon call that stadium home.
Baylor was selected by the Phillies in the third round of Major League Baseball’s amateur draft on Tuesday, going 91st overall. He’ll go to Philadelphia to sign his contact and get a physical, then head to Clearwater, Florida, to begin his professional career.
“I’m just grateful that I get the opportunity to play, keep on playing,” Baylor said on Tuesday afternoon. “Ever since I was little I wanted to play pro ball and have all the fun I can, and I just can’t thank God enough. I’m just excited.”
Baylor just wrapped up a senior season at Benedictine that saw him help the Cadets to a state championship. He hit .412 with seven home runs and 21 RBI in 2019, missing the first part of the season with an arm injury. The shortstop provided the season-saving moment for the Cadets in the state semifinals, hitting a game-tying home run with two outs in the bottom of the 13th inning to keep the game going. Benedictine would tally the walk-off win in the 14th inning and go onto claim the state crown.
The Philles are one of two teams that Baylor traveled to for a workout prior to the draft (Washington was the other one). While in Philadelphia, Baylor took batting and infield practice and met with some of the Phillies’ front office. He left there with a good feeling heading into this week’s draft.
“I just knew that they liked me a lot because of that invite, so I just felt comfortable and confident that they could possibly pick me.”
Baylor says that the Phillies have not told him what position he’ll play, but he hopes to continue playing shortstop. He added that many teams said they could see him staying at his primary position while speaking with him during the pre-draft process, but one said it could see him moving to the outfield.
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