As the second day of the 2017 amateur draft comes to a close, we wanted to highlight not only the Orioles’ selections, but also local high school and college players taken by the other 29 organizations. Here are profiles of the O’s Tuesday picks, as well as four local products who had their names called.
ORIOLES DAY TWO SELECTIONS
The Orioles chose Jacksonville University junior right-hander Mike Baumann with their third-round selection, the 98th overall pick in the 2017 MLB Draft. He’s the third pitcher the O’s have drafted this year, but the first right-hander. MLB.com ranked Baumann as the 108th best player in the draft. In three years in Jacksonville, Baumann put up a 3.17 career ERA in 246.2 innings. He started 43 games and sported a 16-8 record. He struck out 251 batters while walking 98.
High school right-hander Jack Conlon was the Orioles’ fourth-round draft pick at 128 overall. MLB.com listed Conlon was the 175th overall prospect in the draft. Conlon, who went to Clements High School in Sugar Land, Texas, is committed to play collegiate baseball at Texas A&M.
In the fifth round of the 2017 MLB Draft, the Orioles picked high school center fielder Lamar Sparks with the 158th overall selection. Sparks is the first outfielder taken by the Orioles in this draft, and only the second non-pitcher selected by the Birds. Sparks went to Seven Lakes High School in Katy, Texas. He committed to play junior college ball at McLennan Community College.
The O’s chose University of Iowa senior shortstop Mason McCoy in the sixth round with the 188th overall pick. McCoy was named to the All-Big Ten second team in his senior season. McCoy, who bats and throws right-handed, batted .328 this year with five home runs and 34 RBIs. In his two-year career at Iowa, he batted .311 with seven home runs and 68 RBIs.
The Orioles picked up a catcher in the seventh round of the draft. Their selection at 218 was Wake Forest senior backstop Ben Breazeale. Breazeale, who bats left-handed and throws right-handed, received first team All-ACC honors this past season, in which he batted .333 with 11 home runs and 51 RBIs. In his four-year career, he batted .276 with 16 homers and 106 RBIs.
In Fordham senior right-hander Jimmy Murphy, the Orioles drafted their fifth pitcher of the draft. Murphy was an eighth-round selection with the 248th overall pick. Murphy was named to the first-team All-Atlantic 10 team in his senior year. This year, he posted a 2.59 ERA in 93.2 innings. He threw two complete games in his last two outings, and he took the loss when he pitched 9.1 innings in early March. He struck out 85 batters while walking 27 on the year.
The Orioles selected UNC Charlotte senior outfielder T.J. Nichting in the ninth round of the 2017 MLB Draft with the 278th overall pick. Nichting is a switch-hitter and throws right-handed. He batted .373 in his senior season with five homers and 49 RBIs. He’s listed as an outfielder, but has experience playing infield as well — he started 48 games at second base as a sophomore.
Adams State (Colorado) University senior right-hander Josh Keaton was the Orioles’ final draft pick of day two. He’s the sixth pitcher selected by the Orioles and the fourth right-hander. He put up a 5.52 ERA in 75 innings as a senior. He struck out 84 batters while walking 34.
PROMINENT LOCAL PLAYERS SELECTED IN DAY TWO
Notre Dame junior right-handed pitcher and Mount St. Joseph alum Peter Solomon was drafted by the Houston Astros in the fourth round with the 121st overall pick. Solomon is the fourth right-handed college pitcher taken by the Astros in this draft. MLB.com listed him as the 86th best player on the board. This season, he converted three saves, posted a 3.83 ERA and struck out 61 batters.
University of Maryland junior shortstop Kevin Smith was selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in the fourth round with the 129th overall pick. He’s the second shortstop taken by the Blue Jays in the draft. He was ranked as the 91st overall prospect by MLB.com. Smith batted .268 this season with 13 home runs and 48 RBIs.
University of Mount Olive senior left-handed pitcher Bruce Zimmerman became the third local player selected on day two of the 2017 MLB Draft. He was chosen with the 140th overall pick in the fifth round by the Atlanta Braves. He’s the first southpaw taken by the Braves this draft. Zimmerman transferred to Mount Olive from Towson, and he’s a graduate of Loyola Blakefield.
University of Maryland standout junior right-handed pitcher Brian Shaffer was selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks with the 172nd overall pick in the sixth round. He’s the third right-handed pitcher chosen by the Diamondbacks, but the first to come out of college. Shaffer excelled this season at Maryland, culminating in his Big Ten Pitcher of the Year award. He put up a 2.66 ERA in 16 starts with a 7-4 record, and he struck out 102 batters which was second in the conference. You can read more about Shaffer’s strong season here.
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