D'Iberville native Dylan Hardy spent the last two days with an eye on the MLB draft, hoping that he would finally hear his name announced.
Sitting in his parents' living room Wednesday afternoon, the South Alabama junior outfielder got the phone call he had been hoping for.
“The Red Sox called me and asked if I was listening. I said, 'Yes, I am,' ” Hardy said. “They said, 'All right, get ready.' My name got called and we went crazy.
“Just blessed, ecstatic. I can't really describe it. Getting the chance to pursue something I've been chasing for so long, it's such a great opportunity.”
The right-handed Hardy was picked in the 13th round by the Red Sox, making him the 400th overall selection in this year's draft.
It came as little surprise to Hardy that it was the team from Boston that made the pick.
“I met with them in the fall and they were the team that had talked to me the most,” he said.
While some draft picks are undecided on whether to sign, it's an easy call for Hardy.
“I'm definitely going to take it,” he said. “I'll take it, go with it and make the most of it the best I can.”
Hardy had another outstanding campaign in left field for the Jaguars this season, hitting .331 with four homers and 27 RBIs. He began to draw more attention from pro scouts as a sophomore when he hit .358 with four homers and 28 RBIs.
While he's had a hot bat the last two seasons, it's Hardy's speed that makes him a top prospect. He has stolen 50 bases in three years at South Alabama and has been caught stealing only eight times.
The Red Sox expect Hardy to make a position change, moving from left to center.
“I played center in the fall and the past two summers I was in center,” he said. “I feel more comfortable in center and get better reads on the ball.
“They liked my speed and my ability to put the ball in play and put pressure on the defense.”
After playing on the infield at D'Iberville, Hardy has proven a quick study in the outfield the last two seasons.
It's been an impressive progression for Hardy, who hit just .211 as a freshman at South Alabama.
“It's involved so much hard work, day in and day out,” he said. “I've been in the cages, taking extra fly balls. I've been getting pushed by everybody around me. I'm so grateful that I chose South Alabama. I don't think I would have got that anywhere else."
South Alabama was Hardy's only Division I scholarship offer out of D'Iberville High School.
“My teammates pushed me to be the best player I can be,” Hardy said. “I can't be thankful enough.”