Orioles select Vanderbilt outfielder Enrique Bradfield Jr. with 1st pick in draft - BaltimoreBaseball.com
2023 MLB Draft

Orioles select Vanderbilt outfielder Enrique Bradfield Jr. with 1st pick in draft

Syndication: The Tennessean


The Orioles selected Vanderbilt University outfielder Enrique Bradfield Jr. with the 17th pick in the first round of the Major League Baseball draft on Sunday. The 21-year-old Bradfield, who bats and throws left-handed, hit .279 with six home runs and 34 RBIs and an .839 OPS.

Bradfield stole 37 bases in 44 attempts.

In his three years at Vanderbilt, Bradfield hit .311 with a .426 on-base percentage and .873 OPS, stealing 130 bases out of 144 attempts.


“For us, one of the best realistic outcomes for the night,” vice president/general manager Mike Elias said. “He’s somebody that we had a bit higher than 17th on our board. We understood that he might fall even though he was ranked a little bit higher than our pick.

“He is a premium college player from the most premium conference there is, from the most premium program that there is. He’s been excellent for three years there after being identified as a top prospect coming out of high school. I think the conversation with him starts with his center field defense. It’s absolutely electric in college and historically one of the better college centerfielder defenders we’ve seen in a while.

“He’s arguably one of the best baserunners and base-stealers in recent college baseball history … He’s a very good offensive player, great eye, top-of-the-order kind of approach and skill set.”

Bradfield is the third outfielder to be selected in Elias’ five drafts. Heston Kjerstad was the second overall selection in 2020 and Colton Cowser the fifth selection in 2021.

“He profiles to possibly be a leadoff hitter and an impact centerfielder. That’s not easy to find,” Elias said. “That’s a really nice defensive profile to help carry it through the minors and into the majors.”

Bradfield was not one of the eight to 10 players Elias watched play in person.

“I didn’t need to. He’s been on TV for three years now,”  he said. “I don’t know that we were expecting him to get to our pick until very recently.”

With the rule changes that emphasize athleticism, Bradfield seemed like a good fit.

“If you look at our team right now, it’s very athletic,” Elias said. “He’s left-handed, and the lack of shifting helps left-handed hitters. I think he fits well at Camden Yards now, so it was just a very good fit all around.”

Elias said he thinks once Bradfield takes a physical and he’s signed, he’ll spend the end of the 2023 season with the Florida Complex League and at Single-A Delmarva.

The Orioles took another outfielder, Mac Horvath, from the University of North Carolina, in the second round. This past season, Horvath hit .305 with 24 home runs and 66 RBIs and a 1.129 OPS. He stole 25 bases in 29 attempts.

They took right-handed pitcher Jackson Baumeister, from Florida State, with the 63rd pick in Competitive Balance Round B. Baumeister was 5-5 with a 5.00 ERA in 15 games. He struck out 95 and walked 29 in 69 innings in 2023.


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