WCU's Nick Ward ready for pros after being drafted by Oakland

Matt Leon
June 11, 2018 - 3:25 pm
After a standout career at West Chester University, infielder Nick Ward was drafted by the Oakland A's last week in the 34th round.

West Chester University Athletics

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The Major League Baseball Draft took place last weekend, and several players from the area had their names called. 

Included in that group is Division II West Chester University infielder Nick Ward.

Ward was selected in the 34th round by the Oakland A's on Wednesday and he is currently in Mesa, Arizona to take part in a mini-camp at the A's spring training complex. 

"It's been awesome," Ward said. "But it still doesn't really feel real, to be completely honest."

Ward, who went to Unionville High School in Kennett Square, discovered he was headed to the pros in the same way most of us learn about big news: by looking at his phone.

"I actually had the MLB Draft Tracker Twitter account notifications turned on," he recalled. "So every pick that was put in by each team, I got a little buzz on my phone. In the 34th round, my name came up and everyone freaked out."

He says that Oakland had been in the mix with him during the season.

"They were actually the team that was the most interested," he said. "The area scout from the A's was the guy who I spoke with the most."

Ward started his college career at Virginia Commonwealth University before transferring to West Chester for his final three seasons, making a real impact on the program. 

He helped the Golden Rams win the National Championship as a junior in 2017, hitting .342 with nine home runs. In 2018 as a senior, Ward hit .364 with a program record-tying 13 home runs and 50 RBI. He also scored an amazing 69 runs in 48 games, finishing eighth in the country in Division II in runs scored. 

He believes the strengths he had in college will be the strengths that serve him well in the pros.

"I think my ability to get on base and be a tough out for pitchers," he said. "My defense slowly got a lot better over my three years at West Chester. Those three things will make me a valuable asset."

Ward added he will learn where in the Oakland minor league system he will be assigned at the conclusion of mini-camp.

You can follow Matt on Twitter @Mattleon1060.