The Orioles hit what they felt was a home run with the first overall pick in the MLB Draft on Sunday, but executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias looked to the concept of adding another “wave” to Baltimore, an already highly ranked farming system. focused. ,
To do so, he followed the selection of high school shortstop Jackson Holiday with the 33rd overall pick in a competitive Balance A round with Cal Jr. outfielder Dylan Beavers. Beavers, who Baseball America considered the 26th best prospect in the draft, figures to 6ft 4 and play a corner outfield position.
To open the second round on pick number 42, Baltimore chose Clemson sophomore third baseman Max Wagner, who preferred to stick with high-upside batsmen.
In 56 games for the Golden Bears last season, Beavers, who hails from Paso Robles, Calif., hit .291 with 1.060 Ops, scoring 17 home runs and driving in 50. He made 51 walks in his 54 strikeouts, and like Holiday, Beavers is a left-handed hitter. He was a first-team All-Pac-12 selection in each of the previous two seasons, and has displayed a tendency to reach base in 2022, doing so safely in 51 of Cal’s 56 games, including a total of 23. streak was involved.
Wagner, 20, of Green Bay, Wisconsin, showed just 99 plates as a freshman before breaking this past spring and earning the Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year award. He hit 27 homers for the Tigers, tied for the third-most in college baseball, including 17 in his final 24 games.
The right-handed slugger kept a strong walk-to-strikeout ratio (45 to 51) and posted a 1.348 ops as a sophistication.
In the first round of the draft, 21 of the 30 players selected were position players, perhaps a side effect of injuries to several of the college’s top pitchers. In the making of the draft, Elias said “this is kind of a jerk year”. [for pitchers], roughly ‘his reason. But he didn’t rule out the possibility that Baltimore would select an injured pitcher, especially if it’s “a sort of garden-variety Tommy John rehab.”
But Elias has avoided producing excessive pitchers in the draft, and he went through his first two picks for the third year in a row, with a fielder and an outfielder. In 2021, the Orioles first picked outfielder Colton Kauser with a fifth overall pick followed by infielder Conor Norby in 41st. In 2020, it was outfielder Heston Kjerstad who was selected with No. 2 overall, followed by infielder Jordan Vestberg, 30th overall.
Holiday, the son of seven-time All-Star Matt Holiday, was selected from a group that was limited to as many as five choices. There was more to play in the competitive Balance A round, with nine of Baseball America’s top 25 prospects still available.
The Orioles opted to take on Beaver and Wagner, the latter of whom Baseball America considered the 70th best prospect of entering the draft.