Buddy Kennedy called it "a dream come true."
But like many dreams, this one had a surprise element.
Kennedy, a senior third baseman for Millville High, said he was "shocked but not shocked" to be selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 5th round of the major-league draft on Tuesday.
Kennedy went 142d overall.
"I was watching at my grandparents' house with my family," Kennedy said. "It was a really special moment, something I dreamed about for a long time."
The 6-foot, 200-pound Kennedy had worked out in advance of the draft for the Los Angeles Angels and Phillies. He said he had heard from the Diamondbacks but still was a little surprised that the Arizona club selected him.
"I knew they had interest but I didn't know how much interest," Kennedy said.
Kennedy has a close relationship with Angels' superstar Mike Trout, a 2009 Millville graduate. Kennedy has worked out with Trout in South Jersey during recent off-seasons.
Trout congratulated Kennedy on Twitter after Kennedy was selected, adding hashtags "Jersey" and "Bolts."
Kennedy has another major-league connection as his grandfather is former major-league player and long-time Milwaukee Brewers' official Don Money.
Kennedy batted .493 this season for Millville with nine doubles, three triples, six home runs and 25 RBIs in 21 games.
Millville coach Roy Hallenbeck has called Kennedy "a five-tool player" who can run, field, throw, hit for average and hit for power.
"He does everything," Hallenbeck said of Kennedy. "And he's a great kid."
Kennedy has committed to North Carolina on a baseball scholarship but said he was considering signing with the Diamondbacks and beginning his professional career.
The slot value for the 142 pick is $356,900. Teams can adjust their offers from the slot value but usually stay pretty close to that figure.
"I'll talk it over with my agents, my family and make a decision in the next couple of days," Kennedy said. "I'm just so excited to be drafted. It's an amazing feeling."
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