Shortstop Jaylon McLaughlin from the Santa Monica High School boys varsity baseball team runs to field a ground ball that was hit into play by a batter from the San Fernanado Valley High School boys varsity baseball team at Santa Monica High School on Tuesday March 1st 2016 as SAMO hosted San Fernando in a non-league baseball game and won 1-0 in eight innings to improve thier record to 2-0

In between an outing with his father and his high school graduation party, Jaylon McLaughlin got the news he’d been waiting for since he started swinging a bat.

The standout Santa Monica High School shortstop had been selected by the New York Mets in the MLB Draft, a landmark achievement on a budding baseball journey that he hopes is far from over.

McLaughlin’s special moment culminated in a big hug with his father, who has mentored and inspired him as he’s climbed the sport’s ranks.

“They called my dad and told him that I was going to get drafted, but it was a surprise to me,” he said. “We were listening to the draft and they called my name. I was shocked.”

McLaughlin was taken in the 38th round as the 1,150th overall pick in a 40-round event during Major League organizations evaluate future talent.

McLaughlin is well aware that having his name called doesn’t come with any guarantees of playing time or money. And he knows that very few draftees end up making it to the pros.

But the 5-foot-10, 165-pound prospect, who is planning to play baseball at the University of Nevada next year, was still excited to be included in the selection process.

“It’s a confidence booster,” he said. “I know I can get drafted, and now my ultimate goal is to be a big-leaguer. It’s going to help motivate me to get what I need done and get ready to be drafted in the top five rounds [of a future draft] so I can actually be somebody.”

McLaughlin is part of a Mets draft class that was highlighted by Boston College pitcher Justin Dunn, University of Connecticut pitcher Anthony Kay and Florida first baseman Peter Alonso.

The Mets, who compete in the NL East division, have minor-league affiliates in New York and Florida as well as Las Vegas, Tennessee, South Carolina and the Dominican Republic.

McLaughlin, whose appreciation for Nolan Ryan turned him into a longtime Texas Rangers fan, knew there was a possibility that his name would be called in this year’s draft.

This past fall, before his high school baseball season started, he filled out a questionnaire for the Mets and completed a private workout with club representatives.

Still, he was proud to be able to say that he was drafted out of high school.

“It gives me the confidence that I did something good this season, that it didn’t go unrecognized,” he said. “I felt like I set a goal and I did it. I wrote something down, and it wasn’t too far-fetched for me to do it.”

Over the summer, McLaughlin plans to improve his hitting and defensive skills while working on his strength training to prepare for collegiate baseball at Nevada. He’ll develop there under T.J. Bruce, who led the Wolf Pack to a 37-24 record in his first season at the helm.

“I’m just trying to get ready to play if they call my number,” he said. “I’m fine-tuning the stuff that needs to be fine-tuned.”

McLaughlin will work out with friends from other colleges as well as with his father, Jason, who has worked as an instructor in the MLB Urban Youth Academy. His father played college baseball but didn’t get the chance to play professionally.

“I made him happy,” he said. “Now it’s time to really make him happy and make him proud.”

jeff@www.smdp.com