Just like that, another Major League Baseball first-year-player draft has come and gone.
It’s the second one since BaltimoreBaseball.com was created. Last year, I took a look at all 41 draft picks that the Orioles made during the three-day event.
Because Dan Connolly loved the idea – and because it’s a great way for Orioles fans to get to know a lot of these players – I’ve decided to do it again this year. (My regular “Dean Jones Report” on the Orioles’ minor league system will return next week.)
With the help of some Internet research, I’ve compiled a snapshot into each of the Orioles’ 41 selections this year. There are a bunch of links included within the piece, so you can learn even more on each player if you wish.
The club picked 21 pitchers and 20 position players – almost split down the middle. And it’s a big difference from last year, when the Orioles took nearly twice as many pitchers as position players (27 to 14).
Meanwhile, 29 of the Orioles’ 41 selections came from college in 2017 (though four of the first six picks are directly out of high school). Last year, the Orioles picked 31 college players and only 10 straight from high school.
The Orioles drafted 12 right-handed pitchers, nine left-handers, eight infielders, seven outfielders, four catchers and one utility player. Now, let’s get to know them:
ORIOLES’ 2017 DRAFT PICKS
First round (21st pick): DL Hall, LHP, Valdosta H.S. (Ga.)
With the 6-foot, 180-pound left-hander listed at No. 16 overall by Baseball America and No. 14 by MLB.com, the Orioles were “pretty excited” that he fell to their spot. Hall, 18, can reportedly touch as high as 96 mph with his fastball, which is consistently in the low-to-mid 90s. He also throws a change-up that sits in the low 80s and a curveball that breaks late. As a senior with the Wildcats, Hall (pictured above) had 105 strikeouts and a 1.36 ERA in 51 1/3 innings. He only allowed 24 hits and opponents batted .129 against him. Offensively, Hall batted .349 with 11 doubles, five home runs and 33 RBIs as the No. 3 hitter in Valdosta’s lineup. According to Baseball America, Hall’s “inconsistency hurt his draft stock a bit during the spring, but his upside remains unquestioned.”
Second round (60th pick): Adam Hall, SS, A.B. Lucas Secondary School (Canada)
Hall, 18, is a longtime member of the Canadian junior national team who had committed to Texas A&M University. But in a television interview with CTV News London, Hall said his parents are “happy with whatever I decide. We had a number coming into the draft, and we pretty much got it.” The 6-foot, 170-pound infielder will head to Sarasota to begin training with the Gulf Coast League squad. MLB.com said, “Hall needs to add strength to his athletic frame, but that should come as he matures.” Another notable moment from that CTV News London interview: Former Orioles outfielder Adam Stern – two games in 2007, look it up – coached Hall when he moved to the country from Bermuda.
Competitive Balance Round B (74th pick): Zac Lowther, LHP, Xavier Univ.
I’ll start with Baseball America’s scouting report: “Lowther doesn’t have a lot of upside, but as a physically imposing college lefty with the ability to generate swings and misses and a resume with plenty of success and strikeouts, he should hear his name called somewhere between the fourth to sixth round.” Of course, the Orioles picked him at the end of the first day, making him the highest draft pick to ever come out of Xavier. Lowther, 21, went 5-5 with a 2.92 ERA and 123 strikeouts – the most in school history – in 83 1/3 innings as a junior this spring. The 6-foot-2, 235-pound left-hander was an All-Big East first-team pick. He also led the Cape Cod Baseball League with 54 strikeouts in 35 2/3 innings last summer.
Third round (98th pick): Mike Baumann, RHP, Jacksonville Univ.
For the second straight year, the Orioles’ third-round selection came from Jacksonville University in Florida. The club picked outfielder Austin Hays at No. 91 overall in 2016. You can tell that Hays liked the Orioles’ addition of Baumann, 21, who anchored the Dolphins rotation for three years. The junior is 16-8 with a 3.17 ERA and 251 strikeouts in 247 career innings at Jacksonville. MLB.com said that “putting him in the bullpen could allow his fastball-slider combination to play up and get him to the big leagues more quickly.” He was previously drafted in the 34th round (1,010th overall) by the Minnesota Twins in 2014.
Fourth round (128th pick): Jack Conlon, RHP, Clements H.S. (Texas)
If you believe what’s posted on his Twitter page, it looks like the 6-foot-4, 215-pound right-hander is signing with the Orioles instead of honoring his commitment to Texas A&M. Conlon, 18, “has the arm speed and the frame to eventually sit in the mid-90s and touch higher,” according to Baseball America. He joined former Orioles right-hander Matt Albers as players to be drafted out of Clements High School in Sugar Land, Texas. The Houston Astros picked Albers in the 23rd round of the 2001 draft. He pitched for the Orioles from 2008-2010. Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr is also a graduate of the high school.
Fifth round (158th pick): Lamar Sparks, OF, Seven Lakes H.S. (Texas)
The Orioles agreed to a deal last week with the 6-foot-2, 170-pound outfielder that’s worth the full slot allotment of $304,800, according to MLB.com’s Jim Callis. Baseball America didn’t have much of a scouting report on Sparks, 18, but said that he is “an athletic outfielder with plus speed, Sparks needs to add strength and simplify his swing as he matures.” He’s also good friends with Conlon, whom the Orioles took one round before him. Get to know more about Sparks by watching this brief interview from January.
Sixth round (188th pick): Mason McCoy, SS, Univ. of Iowa
The 6-foot, 175-pound infielder expected to go in the top 10 rounds of last year’s draft, but he wasn’t picked at all. “The draft was obviously Plan A, because there was no reason I shouldn’t have went. But I didn’t,” McCoy, 22, told the Des Moines (Iowa) Register last June. After returning to the Hawkeyes for his senior season, McCoy hit .328 with a team-leading 18 doubles in 61 games. He also finished tied for first with 55 runs scored. McCoy finally got his wish when the Orioles picked him Tuesday. Maybe that 2016 snub will pay off.
Seventh round (218th pick): Ben Breazeale, C, Wake Forest Univ.
Breazeale, 22, started all four years behind the plate for the Demon Deacons. But it was his senior season that caught the eye of scouts. In 60 games (59 starts), the 6-foot, 208-pound left-handed hitter had a .333 average, 11 home runs and 51 RBIs. Breazeale hit a walk-off home run in the second game of the NCAA super regionals against Florida, but Wake Forest was eliminated in the deciding third game. According to Baseball America, “his power numbers disappeared with a wood bat in his hands” during the summer.
Eighth round (248th pick): Jimmy Murphy, RHP, Fordham Univ.
The fifth-year senior told the New York Post that it was “unreal” to hear his name called Tuesday. Murphy, 22, earned a spot on the All-Atlantic 10 first team this spring after he went 6-7 with a 2.59 ERA in 13 starts. The 5-foot-11, 195-pound right-hander had 85 strikeouts and allowed 76 hits in 93 2/3 innings. According to Fordham, Murphy is the second player from the school to be selected by the Orioles. The first? Right-hander Pete Harnisch, who was the 27th overall pick in the first round in 1987.
Ninth round (278th pick): T.J. Nichting, OF, UNC Charlotte
The first of two players that the Orioles picked from the 49ers – 28th-round selection Zach Jarrett was the other – will begin his professional career with the IronBirds. Nichting, 22, hit a team-leading .373 while starting all 58 games as a senior at UNC Charlotte. The 5-foot-11, 188-pound switch-hitter also ranked first on the team in RBIs (49) and runs (60). Baseball America noted that, “Nichting doesn’t boast much in the way of physical tools, but what he does offer is versatility.” He made three errors in 157 chances. The Montreal Expos picked Nichting’s father, Tim, in the 22nd round of the 1982 draft. He played one season for Jamestown in the New York-Penn League, which is the league in which his son will debut.
10th round (308th pick): Josh Keaton, RHP, Adams State Univ. (Colo.)
Keaton, 23, went 4-6 with a 5.52 ERA in 12 games (11 starts) for the NCAA Division II Grizzlies. The 6-foot-1, 200-pound right-hander had 84 strikeouts and issued 34 walks in 75 innings. Keaton’s best start came on April 13, when he struck out 13 batters and scattered 12 baserunners (seven hits, three hit batters and two walks) in an 8-0 shutout against the Colorado School of Mines. He became the first player from Sand Creek High School in Colorado Springs – which opened in 1997 – to be picked in the MLB draft.
11th round (338th pick): Trevor Craport, UTIL, Georgia Tech
The 5-foot-11, 201-pound junior was the first Yellow Jackets player to be drafted in 2017, as well as the Orioles’ first pick on the third day. An All-Atlantic Coast Conference third-team selection, he batted .336 with five home runs, 20 doubles and 30 RBIs while starting all 55 games. Craport, 20, told the Gwinnett (Ga.) Daily Post that “it was kind of a shock” to learn he was drafted by the Orioles because he hadn’t heard that the team was interested.
12th round (368th pick): Tucker Baca, LHP, St. Katherine College (Calif.)
The Atlanta Braves selected the 6-foot-4, 193-pound left-hander in the 32nd round (973rd overall) out of high school in 2014, but he chose to go to Arizona State University instead of signing. After two years with the Sun Devils – during which he went 2-0 with a 3.38 ERA in 25 appearances out of the bullpen – Baca, who turned 21 on Saturday, transferred to the tiny National Christian College Athletic Association school in San Marcos, California. No, really, it’s tiny. The school lists its enrollment at a little more than 100 students. Baca throws a “fastball up to 94 mph and a sharp slider,” according to Baseball America.
13th round (398th pick): Reed Hayes, RHP, Vanderbilt Univ.
The Orioles listed Hayes, 22, as a right-handed pitcher when they made the selection. But the 6-foot-3, 185-pound junior also hit .276 with 10 doubles and 36 RBIs in 48 games, primarily as a DH, for the Commodores this spring. His true value is on the mound, though. Although Hayes had a 5.75 ERA in 20 1/3 innings, he had 25 strikeouts and a team-leading seven saves. According to Baseball America, Hayes’ “live arm gives him more potential as a reliever at the next level, especially if he can turn his slider into a real weapon.” In case you’re interested, The Tennessean has a nice feature article from early May about why Hayes “passed on Tennessee baseball, college football and pro baseball.”
14th round (428th pick): Cameron Ming, LHP, Univ. of Arizona
Ming, 21, announced Thursday on his Twitter page that he was giving up his final year of college eligibility to sign with the Orioles. The 6-foot-1, 177-pound left-hander finished his junior season with a 7-2 record in 21 appearances (eight starts). He had a 2.78 ERA and 60 strikeouts in 77 2/3 innings for the Wildcats as they earned a spot in the NCAA regionals.
15th round (458th pick): J.C. Escarra, 1B, Florida International Univ.
The New York Mets originally selected Escarra, 22, in the 32nd round (956th overall) of the 2013 draft out of Mater Academy Charter School in Hialeah Gardens, Fla. The 6-foot-3, 205-pound left-handed-hitting first baseman – who also spent time behind the plate – led the Panthers in home runs (15), RBIs (49), total bases (112) and slugging percentage (.599). Escarra batted .305 with 10 doubles. The redshirt junior went 3-for-5 with two solo home runs in Florida International’s 10-4 win at the University of Southern Mississippi on April 9.
16th round (488th pick): Logan Allen, LHP, University H.S. (Fla.)
The 6-foot-1, 170-pound left-hander was named Florida’s Gatorade Player of the Year after going 13-0 with a 0.35 ERA as a senior. Allen, 18, struck out 150 batters in 81 innings and tossed a no-hitter in his final high school start as the Titans advanced to the Class 9A state championship. Committed to Florida International University, Allen also batted .450 with 28 runs and 22 RBIs. He told the Daytona Beach (Fla.) News-Journal: “Obviously, I wanted to go a little higher, but that’s just not the nature of the situation. But I’m glad to be selected.”
17th round (518th pick): Greg Jones, SS, Cary H.S. (N.C.)
One of the Orioles’ most intriguing selections, the 5-foot-11, 170-pound infielder ranked in the top 85 eligible draft prospects according to Baseball America (No. 75) and MLB.com (No. 84). Jones, 19, likely slid down in the draft because of his commitment to UNC Wilmington, but the club could sway him if it offers a substantial signing bonus. The switch-hitter grew six inches from the middle of his junior year. MLB.com said that Jones “famously clocked a 3.85 home-to-first time from the left side of the plate,” but noted that he also has “surprising bat speed and deceptive wiry strength and also possesses a strong arm.”
18th round (548th pick): Jacob Brown, OF, Northeast Guilford H.S. (N.C.)
It didn’t take long for the 5-foot-9, 190-pound outfielder to decide to give up his commitment to High Point in order to sign with the Orioles. According to the Greensboro (N.C.) News & Record, Brown said Wednesday: “I’ve already made my decision to sign with the Orioles, even though I really liked High Point.” Baseball America said that Brown, 18, “flashes above-average bat speed and natural timing at the plate, with the ability to sell out for pullside power when he wants to, or shoot a line drive to the opposite-field gap.” Although he was listed as an outfielder in the draft selection, he also played third base.
19th round (578th pick): Adam Stauffer, RHP, Coatesville Area H.S. (Pa.)
A phone call from the Orioles’ manager’s son (who just happens to also be an Orioles scout) might be the magical touch to get the 6-foot-7, 240-pound right-hander to bypass his commitment to St. John’s University and start his professional career. According to Philly.com, Nathan Showalter – son of Buck – called Stauffer, 18, during the third day of the draft and asked what it would take to get him to sign. While he’s not particularly overpowering – especially given his size – Baseball America noted that Stauffer “generates elite extension with extremely long arms and powerful drive off the rubber that leads him to land significantly closer to the plate than most pitchers.”
20th round (608th pick): Scott Burke, RHP, UCLA
The 6-foot-3, 185-pound right-hander finished second on the Bruins with 35 relief appearances this spring. That total also ranked eighth in the country, according to UCLA. Burke, 23, was 0-3 with a 2.51 ERA and five saves. He struck out 47 batters and allowed only 36 hits in 43 innings. In the Bruins’ season-ending loss to San Diego State in the NCAA regionals, Burke hit a batter in the top of the 13th to force in the winning run. The Houston Astros drafted Burke out of Glendora (Calif.) High School in the 31st round in 2013.
21st round (638th pick): Jose Montanez, C, Colegio Angel David H.S. (P.R.)
When the Orioles took the 6-foot-1, 200-pound catcher, he became the fourth of five players from his school to go in this year’s draft. Montanez, 18, was also the 18th of 22 players selected from Puerto Rico. Last year, the Orioles selected infielder Alexis Torres in the fifth round (151st overall) from the same school. Torres, 19, batted .183 with one home run and 12 RBIs in 37 games for the GCL Orioles last summer.
22nd round (668th pick): Luke Ringhofer, C, South Dakota State Univ.
A left-handed hitter, the 6-foot-1, 210-pound junior ranks third in Jackrabbits history with 114 walks in 154 career games. Ringhofer, 21, batted .286 with one home run, nine doubles and 23 RBIs while starting all 50 games for South Dakota State this spring. He had a .994 fielding percentage and committed only two errors and five passed balls. Ringhofer threw out 12 of 50 runners (24%) on stolen-base attempts this season.
23rd round (698th pick): Bryndan Arredondo, C, Lamar Univ.
Arredondo, 22, played the past two seasons for the Cardinals. Before that, the 5-foot-10, 190-pound catcher – the third straight backstop selected by the Orioles – spent two years with Midland College, a community college in Midland, Texas. In 2014, Arredondo helped to lead the Chaps to the NJCAA Division I JUCO World Series in Colorado. This spring, he hit .311 with 11 extra-base hits and 32 RBIs in 55 games. He had a .403 on-base percentage.
24th round (728th pick): Jason Willow, SS, Lambrick Park Secondary School (Canada)
The second player whom the Orioles picked out of Canada this year, Willow comes from the same high school as current Philadelphia Phillies players Michael Saunders and Nick Pivetta. The 6-foot-2, 182-pound infielder told the Times Colonist of Victoria, British Columbia: “It’s a boost of confidence for me to know there were guys just like me at Lambrick Park sitting where I am now and in the same situation.” Willow, 18, is committed to the University of California at Santa Barbara and said that he thought he would have been picked higher. Here is a YouTube video of Willow crushing a home run at the 2016 Area Code Games. If you want to see more highlights, you’ll find plenty on YouTube.
25th round (758th pick): Willy Yahn, 3B, Univ. of Connecticut
Hours after the 5-foot-11, 185-pound infielder was picked Wednesday, he made it clear that he’s starting his professional career. Yahn, 21, led the Huskies with a .317 average in 48 games this spring. The All-American Athletic Conference second-team selection had 12 doubles and only struck out 13 times. A co-captain, he missed time early in the season because of a broken hand. Here’s a pretty cool story from a journalism student at Connecticut about Yahn. Oh, and he’s apparently a good dancer, too.
26th round (788th pick): Cameron Bishop, LHP, UC Irvine
Bishop, 21, missed the entire year because of a strained oblique muscle that he suffered right before the season opener. However, as Baseball America noted: “When healthy, Bishop entices as a 6-foot-4, 235-pound left-hander with big stuff, headlined by a 95-mph fastball. He throws both a curveball and changeup that are fringe-average but improving.” As a sophomore in 2015, he went 5-5 with a 4.61 ERA in 16 appearances (15 starts). He had a team-leading 79 strikeouts in 70 1/3 innings for the Anteaters, including a career-high 11 strikeouts against the University of California at Santa Barbara.
27th round (818th pick): Nick Vichio, RHP, Missouri Baptist Univ.
Apparently, “something happened with his credit hours” and the 6-foot, 190-pound right-hander was forced to transfer from Saint Louis University to the NAIA school this year. With a 1.89 ERA and 14 saves in 29 appearances, Vichio led the Spartans to a spot in the NAIA World Series. He struck out 52 hitters and only issued six walks in 33 1/3 innings. Orioles scout Scott Thomas – a Missouri Baptist alum – was credited with Vichio’s pick, and Spartans coach Eddie Uschold said that made sense: “Many teams were interested… It is not a surprise that he went to the Orioles with the connection to… Scott Thomas. He is focused, a hard worker and has put himself in a position to showcase his talents.”
28th round (848th pick): Zach Jarrett, OF, UNC Charlotte
The 6-foot-4, 220-pound outfielder is the son of former NASCAR driver Dale Jarrett. Jarrett, 22, broke through as a senior for the 49ers this spring. He batted .342 with 45 RBIs and a team-leading 13 home runs while starting all 58 games. His average ranked second on the team to Nichting, the Orioles’ ninth-round selection this year. “We always joked about us getting drafted by the same team,” Jarrett told MLB.com. “He was texting me as soon as [I was drafted]. It’s pretty cool to know someone.”
29th round (878th pick): Matthew Hammonds, LHP, Sonoma State Univ. (Calif.)
Hammonds, 22, became the 45th player in Seawolves history to be drafted. The 6-foot-4, 205-pound, senior left-hander earned All-California Collegiate Athletic Association honors at the NCAA Division II school after he went 4-2 with a 2.98 ERA in 12 starts. You can see Hammonds in action in this YouTube video of a start he made in April. In that game – his second-to-last start – Hammonds suffered the loss despite only giving up two runs (one earned) and five hits in seven innings against Cal Poly Pomona.
30th round (908th pick): Will Robertson, OF, Davidson College (N.C.)
A major reason why the Wildcats made a surprising run to the NCAA super regionals, the 6-foot-2, 190-pound senior outfielder broke the school record with 18 home runs. A member of Baseball America’s All-America second team, he hit a team-leading .333 with 19 doubles and 48 RBIs in 61 games. And Robertson, 22, has a really cool story, too. He walked on at Davidson and never received any scholarship money in four years at the school. Plus, it seems like Robertson has been a member of the Orioles for most of his life.
31st round (938th pick): Robbie Thorburn, OF, UNC Wilmington
The starting center fielder for the Seahawks didn’t make an error in 152 chances this spring. Thorburn, 22, became just the second player in school history to go errorless with more than 100 chances in a season. He can also play multiple positions on the diamond. In addition to his stellar defense and versatility, the 5-foot-11, 175-pound senior – who bats from the left side and throws with his right hand – appears to have some speed. He led the team with 12 stolen bases in 18 attempts. Thorburn hit .289 with 38 runs, five home runs, six doubles and three triples.
32nd round (968th pick): Max Hogan, 2B, Missouri Southern State Univ.
What a journey for the 5-foot-11, 195-pound infielder to professional baseball. After playing one season at Dallas Baptist University and another at McLennan Community College in Texas, Hogan transferred to the University of Arkansas. But after his helmet was shattered by a pitch in an intrasquad scrimmage and then he suffered another concussion in a car accident, it appeared that Hogan, 23, would never play again. However, given another chance with the NCAA Division II Lions, he batted .390 with 15 home runs, 20 doubles and 59 RBIs. That performance helped Hogan to earn a spot on the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association’s Division II All-America team.
33rd round (998th pick): Ryan Wilson, LHP, Pepperdine Univ.
If nothing else, the 6-foot-1, 190-pound junior had a tremendous view of the Pacific Ocean during his time with the Waves. Wilson, 20, went 2-7 with a 3.61 ERA in 14 games as Pepperdine’s Friday night starter in 2017. He had 72 strikeouts and allowed 87 hits in 89 2/3 innings. As a sophomore in 2016, Wilson dominated out of the bullpen. He had a 0.63 ERA, six saves and 46 strikeouts in 42 2/3 innings. Opponents only hit .128 against him. Here’s a video of Wilson in action that year. Spoiler alert: The strikeout pitch is nasty. Read this scouting report from Baseball America: “Most evaluators believe Wilson’s lack of stuff and just average command will cause him to struggle against better hitters, but his strong career splits against left-handers give him a chance to emerge as a lefty specialist.”
34th round (1,028th pick): Timothy Naughton, RHP, N.C. State Univ.
Naughton, 21, has “late-inning reliever stuff” – a fastball in the mid-to-upper-90s and a slider in the mid-80s – according to this scouting report. The hard-throwing redshirt sophomore only pitched in 11 games for the Wolfpack this year. Naughton had a 3.00 ERA and 13 strikeouts in 12 innings, but he also walked 10 batters in that span. And in case you want to send him a Valentine’s Day card next year, here’s an idea to consider.
35th round (1,058th pick): Keegan Collett, RHP, Northern Oklahoma College (Tonkawa)
The 6-foot-4, 210-pound right-hander apparently doesn’t have much experience on the mound. “He was kind of an on-again, off-again position player in high school,” Mavericks coach Ryan Bay told the Enid (Okla.) News & Eagle after Collett, 18, dominated the Mavericks’ in-state rival, Northern Oklahoma College (Enid) in April. “He is growing into the job. He threw well.” In that game, Collett struck out 12 hitters and allowed two runs in 5 2/3 innings. He went 1-2 with a 4.15 ERA and 62 strikeouts in 39 innings overall.
36th round (1,088th pick): Tyler Coolbaugh, SS, Angelo State Univ. (Texas)
As the son of Orioles hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh, the 6-foot-2, 190-pound switch-hitting infielder knows a lot about professional baseball. And as the senior told the San Angelo (Texas) Standard-Times in April, that experience has been valuable: “Last year, I didn’t play summer ball and I was able to go hang out with the Orioles and take early batting practice with them and just kind of learn and pick up things that they do on an everyday basis.” Coolbaugh, 23, led the NCAA Division II Rams with a .374 average in 53 games this spring.
37th round (1,118th pick): Cole Haring, OF, McLennan C.C. (Texas)
Haring, 20, hit .363 with eight home runs, 18 doubles and 31 RBIs in 61 games to help lead the Highlanders to the NJCAA Division I JUCO World Series in Colorado. The 5-foot-10, 170-pound outfielder was also successful in all 16 stolen-base attempts. After spending two years at McLennan, Haring is committed to play next season at Baylor. If you want to see a big home run from Haring’s time at Katy High School in East Texas, click here.
38th round (1,148th pick): Bobby Miller, RHP, McHenry H.S. (Ill.)
The 6-foot-5, 210-pound right-hander went 6-1 with a 0.83 ERA and 93 strikeouts in 59 innings as a senior with the Warriors. And Miller, 18, underwent surgery to repair meniscus damage in his right knee earlier this month. He’s expected to be ready to resume physical activities within six weeks. Baseball America said Miller is “an intriguing projectable arm” and said he “could blossom into a hard-throwing physical starter with a quality breaking ball, but there’s a lot of projection involved.” However, none of that matters to the Orioles. Miller told the Northwest Herald of Crystal Lake, Ill., that he’s going to Louisville. “I’m going to go to school and hopefully get drafted [again] after that,” Miller said.
39th round (1,178th pick): Sam Glick, LHP, El Toro H.S. (Calif.)
Glick, 18, apparently “lost his command and control entirely his senior year to the point he was dropped from the regular rotation,” according to Baseball America. Although the 6-foot-1, 170-pound left-hander didn’t pitch in the playoffs, the Chargers won the California Interscholastic Foundation Southern Section championship. Before that, the alma mater of former Orioles farmhand Aaron Wirsch – and more notably, Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado – hadn’t won a title since 2008. Baseball America said the UCLA commit throws a fastball in the mid-to-upper-80s and an inconsistent curveball with upside.
40th round (1,208th pick): Niko Leontarakis, RHP, Tallahassee C.C. (Fla.)
Leontarakis, 18, has the best birthday of all 41 draft picks. He was born on Aug. 5, 1998. More important, the 6-foot-4, 190-pound right-hander was born on my birthday. Leontarakis originally committed to play baseball at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, but he wound up at the junior college in the backyard of Florida State University. He struggled for the Eagles, going 1-1 with a 9.00 ERA in only 16 innings. The coolest fact about Leontarakis (other than his birthday)? He’s a triplet.
DRAFT PICKS WITH LOCAL TIES
Second round (49th pick, Chicago White Sox): Gavin Sheets, 1B, Wake Forest Univ. (Gilman)
Fourth round (121st pick, Houston Astros): Peter Solomon, RHP, Univ. of Notre Dame (Mount Saint Joseph)
Fourth round (129th pick, Toronto Blue Jays): Kevin Smith, SS, Univ. of Maryland
Fifth round (140th pick, Atlanta Braves): Bruce Zimmerman, LHP, Univ. of Mount Olive (Loyola Blakefield)
Sixth round (172nd pick, Arizona Diamondbacks): Brian Shaffer, RHP, Univ. of Maryland (North Harford)
14th round (422nd pick, New York Yankees): Harold Cortijo, RHP, Riverdale Baptist School
17th round (497th pick, Cincinnati Reds): Junior Harding, RHP, Chipola College in Florida (Cambridge-South Dorchester)
17th round (513th pick, Seattle Mariners): Jamal Wade, RHP, Univ. of Maryland (St. Paul’s)
20th round (598th pick, Pittsburgh Pirates): Will Reed, RHP, Harford Community College
22nd round (657th pick, Chicago White Sox): Joe Benitez, LHP, Univ. of South Carolina-Aiken (Archbishop Spalding)
25th round (751st pick, Houston Astros): Marty Costes, OF, Univ. of Maryland (Archbishop Curley)
27th round (800th pick, Atlanta Braves): Randy Bednar, OF, Landon School
27th round (820th pick, Los Angeles Dodgers): Jeremy Arocho, OF, Old Mill H.S.
31st round (937th pick, New York Mets): Ryan Selmer, RHP, Univ. of Maryland (Riverdale Baptist School)
32nd round (951st pick, Oakland Athletics): Caleb Evans, RHP, Liberty Univ. (Crisfield)
36th round (1,087th pick, New York Mets): Robby Kidwell, C, Brunswick Community College in North Carolina (Chopticon)
37th round (1,109th pick, Miami Marlins): Jared Price, RHP, Univ. of Maryland