UNLV’s Jack-Thomas Wold was selected by the New York Mets in the 12th round of the 2021 Major League Baseball First-Year Draft on July 13.
UNLV baseball has had at least one player drafted by an MLB team in 37 of the past 38 years (1984-2021), with the lone exception being 2020 when the First-Year Player Draft was limited to only five rounds due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wold discovered the news while watching the stream with his family. The notification that changed his career path popped up on his phone, giving him a heads up before the news was announced on TV.
“I was frozen,” Wold said. “I just looked right and left at my mom, the rest of my family and my girlfriend. I just had my mouth open and so did they. They didn’t really have anything to say.”
As a Las Vegas native, Wold registered 63 multiple-hit and 30 RBI games. Wold also notched the game-winning hit 12 times while scoring the game-winning run on six occasions as a senior at Basic High Academy.
“When I was in high school, I played a couple different sports, not really competitively though,” Wold said. “My coaches just said if you want to be great, if you want to do this for a long time, you have to give other stuff up and really commit to it. I took their advice and stayed on that path. I don’t think it’s steered me wrong yet.”
Wold played a total of 148 games at UNLV. He started in 147 games with 80 of those coming at first base, 71 as the designated hitter and six in right field. During his four years wearing scarlet and gray, he has batted .340 with 198 hits, 67 of which went for extra bases (41 doubles, 25 home runs and one triple) and attributed to .543 slugging percentage.
Wold recorded a .408 on-base percentage with the addition of 62 walks. He has been responsible for 118 RBI and scored 107 runs, as well.
“It’s great to see Jack-Thomas get rewarded,” UNLV head coach Stan Stolte said. “He’s a professional hitter without a doubt. He represented UNLV at the highest level, both on and off the field, and we are excited he’s getting a chance to fulfill his dream.”
This past season, Wold helped the Rebels place in nearly every offensive category, ranking within the top 100 of nine different NCAA statistical categories.
More impressively, he finished top 10 in four categories. Wold placed second in hits per game (1.82), third in slugging percentage (.793), sixth in batting average (.429) and toughest to strikeout (10.0). He also ranked highly in per-game statistics. Wold placed 11th in RBI per game (1.30), 15th in home runs per game (0.36) and 23rd in doubles per game (0.39).
In addition to the numbers previously mentioned, Wold registered 60 hits with 26 of those going for extra bases (13 doubles, 12 homers and one triple) and added 43 RBI and 33 runs. He also racked up a 19-game reached-base streak and a 17-game hit streak. The latter produced a .521 batting average (38-for-73) with 10 multiple-hit games, 19 extra-base hits, 80 total bases and a staggering 1.096 slugging percentage.
Wold went on to earn the 2021 Mountain West All-Conference First Team honors after starting in all 27 league contests.
He led the Rebels in average (.414), hits (48), RBI (35) and runs (29). Half of his hit haul went for extra bases with 12 homers, 11 doubles and one triple, which resulted in 97 total bases and a .836 slugging percentage.
With the 2021 MLB Draft, Wold has become UNLV baseball’s 29th player drafted by MLB teams since head coach Stan Stole and associate head coach Kevin Higgins joined the program in 2011. There have been 16 Rebels drafted by MLB teams since Stolte took over as head coach beginning in 2016.
“I feel like it would be cool to play in every stadium just to see the culture and all the beautiful places to go,” he said. “I’m excited to get started and not really be judged anymore about certain things that scouts classify you as, but rather to be judged by how much I produce for the team.”
Wold was the fourth Rebel to be drafted by the New York Mets since 1993, joining Eric Ludwick (second round) and Rodney Mazion (15th round) in 1993 and Ryan Olson (10th round) in 2001.
The UNLV baseball program looks forward to supporting Wold as he continues his career with the New York Mets. Wold said he will always be a Rebel at heart as he switches from scarlet and gray to blue and orange, despite originally being a fan of the pinstripes.
“I grew up being a (New York) Yankees fan actually because my mom is from New York, too,” Wold said. “She liked both teams, which I don’t know how that’s possible. I was more of a fan of players than just the teams.”