On Monday, Jackson Feltner’s dreams came true. He was drafted in the 8th round by the Arizona Diamondbacks in a surreal moment. Now, the former Lawrence County and Morehead State standout is excited to get to work on achieving a new dream – to become a Major League Baseball player.
“I was in the living room surrounded by family,” said Feltner. “We were watching the draft, and I got a call a few picks before saying the guy they had in front of me had been picked, and I was going to be a Diamondback. It was a pretty unreal moment. I am just glad that I got to experience it with my family.”
It was fitting that Feltner enjoyed the moment with his family. The Feltners are deeply entrenched in Lawrence County athletics. His father Travis is the school’s head baseball coach. His mother Melinda is the girls basketball coach. And his sister Kensley will play Division I basketball at Belmont this upcoming season.
“My dad never really got to coach me until I got to middle school,” recalled Feltner. “He kept coaching more and kept pushing and pushing me through high school. He’s always been there for me and through all of my college offseaons. He trains with me and pushes me. He sat down with me before I really got into high school and asked if I had serious intentions of playing at the next level. He told me that I would have to put a lot of work in, and that was the reality check that I needed. He’s been there every step of the way. He’s one of if not the biggest reason I am where I am today.
“And growing up with Kensley has been a big help. Being able to have someone to go work out with or just talk about the kinds of struggles that athletes go through has helped me out a lot.”
Feltner has spent his collegiate career becoming a star for Morehead State. The first baseman for the Eagles was named to the all Ohio Valley Conference fist team for three seasons in a row. He says that his abilities really blossomed there, and he noticed that more and more Major League teams were taking note of his abilities.
“I really struggled when I first got to Morehead,” he said. “My coaches really spent some time with me and helped me develop through my freshman year, sophomore year and junior year. They spent a lot of time with me, and I was developing both my mental and physical skills. And I feel like that took my game to the next level.
“We have a pro scout practice day at Morehead State every year,” he explained. “By my sophomore year, there were a lot more scouts there than my freshman year. I kind of figured that some of them had to be here for me a little bit after I had a strong freshman season. I didn’t have many talks with scouts until this year, but they kept showing up more and more to my games as my sophomore season went on. And then this year, even more scouts were there. It just gradually increased toward the draft.”
This past season for Morehead State, Feltner led the team with a .348 batting average, 14 home runs and 47 RBI.
Feltner will now fly out to Arizona and will report to the team’s Spring Training facility on Friday. When he gets there, he looks forward to representing Louisa, eastern Kentucky and the mountains.
“It’s a great feeling to be able to represent where I come from,” he added. “I love it here. I think it’s one of the greatest places on earth. I think the values that this area gives you bolstered me to become not only the player but man I am today.”
Photos Courtesy of Morehead State University