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Thursday, August 18, 2022

2022 MLB Draft, Day 2 Tracker: Orioles take on eight college players, including five pitchers, in rounds 3-10

The Orioles opened the first day of the MLB Draft the way they have always done under executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias – focusing on hitters with a combination of power and plate discipline. The highlight came with the first overall selection, drafting shortstop Jackson Holiday from Stillwater High School in Oklahoma.

Baltimore followed the holiday with three college hitters, starting with Cal Jr. outfielder Dylan Beavers, who started with the 33rd overall pick in a competitive Balance A round. Clemson then placed third baseman Max Wagner at number 42 before the Orioles rounded out the 67th overall pick in a competitive Balance B round with Florida junior outfielder Jude Fabian on Sunday evening.

But the outlook changed on the Orioles’ eight selections on the second day of Monday’s draft. Baltimore selected a pitcher to start the third round of the draft – the highest Elias has picked a pitcher in his four drafts with the Orioles – and the Orioles continued from there and five of their eight picks were fired.

“I thought I’d never ask you guys that question,” joked Brad Siolek, the Orioles director of draft operations when asked of all the pitchers selected. In the last three drafts under Elias, Baltimore produced a total of four pitchers in the first 10 rounds, although the 2020 draft was only five rounds.

“We’ve spent a lot of time pitching,” Siolek said. “The last few drafts for whatever reason, the ball didn’t bounce our way, and today it did on several fronts.”

All eight players on Monday and the last three on Sunday were also drawn from college ranks. Ciolek said the Orioles “feel really comfortable with the college players available after selecting Jackson” with Holiday’s first pick.

Here’s a breakdown of Baltimore’s selections from day two of the MLB Draft, with input from Ciolek on several players.

Round 3 (81st overall): Oklahoma State right-hander Nolan McLean

skinny: The Orioles got a pitcher, though it can hit too. McLean was a two-way player at Oklahoma State, although Baltimore announced him as a pitcher. Scouts are most excited about his fastball-curveball combination, and with the Cowboys as a sophomore, McLean dismissed 39 batters in his 25 1/3 innings as a reliever. As a designated hitter or fielder, McLean scored 19 home runs with an average of .285. But his 36.9% strike rate seems to be pushing him to the next level as a pitcher.

Ciolek’s take: “Nolan’s primary focus will be on pitching with us. We think there is a huge upside to them as far as their arsenal is concerned and their ability to take them out once they get used to the pro ball. With that we are going to give him a chance to DH. He has singular raw power, as well as raw power, for all fields. ,

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Round 4 (107th overall): Texas catcher Silas Ardoin

skinny: For the second time in the draft, the Orioles took on the son of a former major leaguer. Ardoin is the son of catcher Danny Ardoin, who was five years older and played five games for the Orioles in 2006. Ardoin hit the .271 for Texas this spring with 12 homers as a redshirt sophistication. In 2021, Ardoin was named an honorable mention All-Big 12 after making no errors throughout the season and knocking out 20 runners on 48 stealing attempts.

Ciolek’s take: “He is very sophisticated defensively behind the plate. Ardoin has superb footwork, refined receiving skills, and an above-average hand and accuracy. He has shown the ability to handle the staff in Texas. As far as his defense is concerned We really like him, and he has done well at the plate as well as in the Big 12.

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Round 5 (137th overall): Auburn right-hander Trace Bright

skinny: During his junior season, the Brights led the Tigers in starts (17), innings (80 2/3) and strikeouts (94) to lead 5-4 with a 5.14 ERA. His strikeout total was the highest by an Auburn pitcher since 2000. Bright had a strong start to the 2022 season, not allowing runs earned in his first three starts, and in the College World Series he dismissed eight batsmen in Auburn’s win over Stanford in June. 20. It was the program’s first College World Series win since 1997. As a sophomore, Bright won four games in 19 appearances (11 starts) and finished second in the team with 43 strikeouts and third in the innings (49).

Ciolek’s take: “All of these guys have weapons they can use for both sides, against both left-handed and right-handed hitters, and we’ll look to fully maximize that arsenal.”

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Round 6 (167th overall): Texas outfielder Douglas Hodo III

skinny: Hodo had an impressive season last spring, as he hit .319 with 10 home runs and 47 RBI in 69 games. During a game against Baylor in April, Hodo went 3-for-4 with a home run and four RBIs. He was named an honorable mention All-Big 12 after hitting .281 in 64 games as a redshirt freshman with five home runs and 44 RBIs, and in high school, Hodo was named one of the 106 career steals in Texas high school baseball history. With the bases in second place. Hodo’s father, Doug, was a starting outfielder on the 1983 Longhorns College World Series team before playing minor league baseball in Phillies and Braves organizations.

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Round 7 (197th overall): Right-hander Preston Johnson of Mississippi State

skinny: After a notably respite for the Bulldogs in 2021, the 22-year-old Johnson transitioned to the rotation this past spring and started 13 games, 3-4 with a 5.47 ERA with 79 strikeouts in 79 innings for the Southeastern Conference. against the competition. As a junior, he appeared in three games during last year’s College World Series for Mississippi State, earning two runs on six hits and dismissing 12 batters to help the Bulldogs win the NCAA championship. Prior to Mississippi State, he pitched for two seasons at Hinds Community College in Raymond, Mississippi, and had an ERA of 1.80 in four starts during the 2020 season after Hinds in-game starts (11) and strikeout (70) in 2019.

Ciolek’s take: “We think we can really help him be more efficient with his delivery, and he has a full arsenal as well. We like guys who have a full arsenal, four pitches. We think Hope we can continue to build on the success from his breaking balls and refine his variation a bit too.

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Round 8 (227th overall): Michigan right-hander Cameron Weston

skinny: The Orioles select the second straight right-handed pitcher and take their fourth of the day with Weston. Ranked by D1Baseball.com as a top-five draft prospect in the Big Ten, Weston started 11 games for Michigan last season, but his batting average deteriorated from .226 to .281, while his ERA last spring increased from 2.81 to 4.74 in comparison to Rs. However, Weston, who hails from Kainsburg, Pennsylvania, and has the option of returning to Michigan for his senior season, dismissed batsmen at a much higher rate, scoring 92 last season, compared to 68 in 2021. Fewer innings pitched this spring.

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Round 9 (257th overall): Stanford shortstop Adam Crampton

skinny: Crampton was born in Taiwan and played for Japan at the 2016 Olympics. Growing up in Oakland, California, Crampton lived close to home and played at Stanford, where he hit .316 this spring as a junior. Crampton started 65 games for the Cardinals and had 40 RBI and .395 on-base percentage. He hit only eight times more than he could walk. Crampton in particular is supposed to defend him. Playing shortstop, he was named the 2022 Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year.

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Round 10 (287th overall): McLennan Community College right-hander Wyatt Cheney

skinny: Cheney, of Bertram, Texas, began his college career at Oklahoma State before transferring to McLennan Community College after the 2021 season, where he turned his career around a 10-3 lead in 15 starts and 16 total appearances. He dismissed 122 batsmen in 81 2/3 innings and ended the 2022 season with a 3.20 ERA. Cheney is committed to playing for Texas if he does not sign with the Orioles. He is the fifth pitcher chosen by Baltimore on Monday and the eighth college player.

Ciolek’s take: “He has a unique fastball profile that we look for. He has his own fastball and a pair of breaking balls that play very well. We’re really excited to have him, like Homecoming, in his arsenal.” We think the fastball and breaking ball combo will be able to change the way hitters look, and we will continue to work with them on that change.”

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