Washington State University first baseman Taylor Ard was the seventh round selection of the Seattle Mariners in the 2012 MLB First-Year Player Draft Tuesday.
The redshirt-junior was the third pick in the round and the 221st overall. He was the first Pac-12 Conference first baseman selected and the fifth-collegiate first baseman drafted. It is the earliest a Cougar first baseman was drafted since John G. Olerud was a third round pick of the Toronto Blue Jays in 1989.
It is the third time Ard was drafted. The then-Florida Marlins selected him in 2010 out of Mt. Hood Community College. Last year, the Boston Red Sox drafted Ard in the 25th round.
In 2012, Ard was an all-conference selection for the second-straight season. He led Washington State with 12 home runs, 50 RBI, 127 total bases and a .577 slugging percentage. The Vancouver, Wash., native batted .332 and added 16 doubles. His home runs and slugging percentage are currently ranked third in the Pac-12. Ard's total bases are fourth in the conference and his RBI total is tied for eighth. He was also All-Pac-12 Academic honorable mention.
Last year, the redshirt-junior led the Pac-10 with 10 home runs and tied for the conference lead with 55 RBI. He batted a team-leading .337, was second in the conference with a .577 slugging percentage, tied for second in the Pac-10 with 17 doubles and was a Rawlings/West Region Second Team selection by the American Baseball Coaches Association.
In his two-year career, Ard has posted a .577 career-slugging percentage, eighth all-time at Washington State. He is the 14th player all-time to be drafted by the Mariners out of Washington State. He joins pitcher Tracy Harris (1977), infielder Dave Edler (1978), outfielders John Cook and Jack Thompson (1979), outfielder Glen Walker (1980), pitcher Mark Pederson (1980, June Secondary Phase), catcher Clay Hill (1981), pitcher Jay Hunt (1983), outfielder Jeff Hooper (1987), second baseman Greg Hunter and first baseman Rob Nichols (1990), shortstop Roy Miller (1993) and pitcher Aaron Trolia (2004).