Kes Carter becomes highest MLB pick in Western Kentucky history

BOWLING GREEN, KY (Bowling Green Daily News) - Western Kentucky junior outfielder Kes Carter made WKU history tonight when he was selected by the Tampa Bay Rays with the 56th pick in the MLB Draft.

Carter's selection is the highest in WKU history.

Nick Baumgardner spoke with Carter Monday, who obviously has plans to skip his final year at WKU and sign a pro contract.

Here are some snippets:

On what tonight was like for him:

"I was trying to keep my emotions contained, because you never know. I know where they had me ranked before the season, but anything can happen leading up to the draft. So it was a lot of waiting on hearing my name called.

"Now I don't have to worry about it and can worry about my pro career. This has always been my dream and I thank God every day for giving me the talent and ability to play baseball – I thank him each and every night before I go to bed."

On what his time at WKU meant to him:

"I loved all of it, after high school I wasn't sure what I was going to do and I actually signed past the signing day," "It was sort of last minute, but I really appreciated everything people did for me at Western – I always want to thank coach (Chris) Finwood, coach (Blake) Allen, coach (Matt) Myers for everything. And all the players and all the fans and friends - I appreciated everything. They've always been there for me and I could have never done any of this without them."

On the Rays' organization as a whole:

"I'll wait and have my advisor take care of the contract and whenever that gets finished, wherever they send me I'll be glad to go and start my career. I'm ready to get it going.

"They've got a pretty good system. They've got a pretty good thing going and I know they take care of their guys all the way up and I'm really looking forward to it."

On the possibility of making a minor league stop down the street from Nick Denes Field with the Bowling Green Hot Rods (a Rays' low-A affiliate)

"That's pretty crazy, isn't it?

"That's something that could be pretty exciting. If that happens, I'd be able to come back to Bowling Green and be around some of my friends from Western and keep in touch with those guys – I'm just ready to get it going."