Orioles reliever Mychal Givens did not cut a conventional path to the majors. Yes, he was a top draft pick out of high school (a second-rounder, 54th overall, in 2009) with an electric arm.
But the Orioles saw him as a shortstop. They thought that was his quickest way to the majors. And Givens, a star at H.B. Plant High School in Tampa, agreed with their assessment.
It didn’t work out; he was a .247 hitter in the minors and never reached above Low-A Delmarva. So, before the 2013 season, the Orioles put him back on the mound, where he also had excelled as a prep player.
His three-quarters delivery and high-90s fastball proved to be too much for the minor leaguers he faced. He jumped from Double-A Bowie to the majors last year, and the 26-year-old has continued to roll, becoming a key cog in the Orioles’ bullpen while winning his first seven big-league decisions.
Our featured subject in this episode of “Know Your O’s,” Givens talks about making the transition from position player to pitcher and what it means to him to now be a major leaguer.
He’s always loved baseball, and he proves it in the offseason with how he spends his time in the Tampa area. You’ll think it is pretty cool.
And we certainly talk about Tampa in this piece. We discuss the pride Givens has in the area where he grew up – a hotbed of baseball talent — and all of the tremendous baseball connections he’s made just by living there.
The purpose of these videos is to delve a little deeper into the personalities and lives of the current Orioles. Givens is a player who has not been in the big-league spotlight very long. But I think he shows here that he has an interesting story to tell.