The Orioles opened the first day of the MLB draft the way they tend to always do under executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias — a focus on hitters with a combination of power and plate discipline. The highlight came with the first overall selection, drafting shortstop Jackson Holliday out of Stillwater High School in Oklahoma.
Baltimore followed Holliday with three college hitters, beginning with Cal junior outfielder Dylan Beavers with the 33rd overall pick in the Competitive Balance A round. Next came Clemson sophomore third baseman Max Wagner at No. 42 before the Orioles rounded out Sunday evening with Florida junior outfielder Jud Fabian with the 67th pick of the Competitive Balance B round.
The Orioles hold eight selections on the second day of the draft, beginning with the third round Monday. The focus took an immediate shift from hitters, selecting a pitcher to begin the third round of the draft Monday — the highest Elias has chosen a pitcher in his four drafts with the Orioles.
Skinny: The Orioles got a pitcher, although even this one can hit. McLean was a two-way player at Oklahoma State, although Baltimore announced him as a pitcher. His fastball-curveball combination are what scouts rave about most, and as a sophomore with the Cowboys, McLean struck out 39 batters in his 25 1/3 innings as a reliever.
As a designated hitter or infielder, McLean hit 19 home runs with a .285 average. But his 36.9% strikeout rate seems to push him toward becoming a pitcher at the next level.
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Skinny: For the second time this draft, the Orioles took the son of a former major leaguer. Ardoin is the son of catcher Danny Ardoin, who played five years in the bigs and five games for the Orioles in 2006. Ardoin hit .271 as a redshirt sophomore for Texas this spring with 12 homers. In 2021, Ardoin was named honorable mention All-Big 12 after not committing an error throughout the season and throwing out 20 runners on 48 steal attempts.
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Skinny: During his junior season, Bright went 5-4 with a 5.14 ERA while leading the Tigers in starts (17), innings (80 2/3) and strikeouts (94). His strikeout total was the most by an Auburn pitcher since 2000. Bright started off the 2022 season strong by not allowing an earned run in his first three starts, and in the College World Series he struck out eight batters in Auburn’s win over Stanford on June 20. It was the program’s first College World Series victory since 1997. As a sophomore, Bright won four games in 19 appearances (11 starts) and was tied for second on the team with 43 strikeouts and third in innings pitched (49).
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