University of California outfielder Dylan Beavers was an Orioles draft pick, No. 33 overall, last Sunday night. And now, just days later, he has signed his first pro contract and was at Camden Yards today to get a look around. He took time to talk with Baltimore reporters.
He said he didn’t have a lot of interaction with the O’s leading up to the draft. It was a nervous time, but then he heard his name called with the club’s Competitive Balance Round A selection.
“It was a little bit stressful, but I knew it would be a great time and I was super excited when I finally got picked," Beavers said. "I was definitely just ready to get my name called. It happened, and it was Baltimore and you know it made it that much better.”
Beavers, age 20 from Paso Robles, Calif., began his career as a freshman as a two-way player, also a pitcher who could touch 92 and 93 mph on the mound. But he quickly became a full-time position player. This season, as a fourth-year junior, the lefty-hitting right fielder batted .291/.426/.634 with 16 doubles, three triples, 17 homers, 62 runs and 50 RBIs. He hit 18 homers in 2021 and 36 for his Cal career.
He indicated that generating good bat speed gets him to his power.
“It’s mostly I just focus on my hands, having quick hands and being whippy with the barrel," he said. "That is kind of how I think of it and where I get most of my power from.”
He admits he doesn’t have vast knowledge of Baltimore baseball history, but knows he is now joining a farm system on the rise.
“It’s super exciting. I’m excited to be on talent teams and winning teams," he said. "I can’t wait to be around those players.
“I know who Cal Ripken is. I know there is a rebuilding in progress and it’s going to be good over the next couple of years. I just know there is a lot of history in East Coast baseball too.”
Beavers, a two-time all-Pac 12 performer, said he is friends with current O’s minor leaguers John Rhodes and Ryan Long, and that it was a bit overwhelming to take it all in today at Oriole Park.
“It’s crazy. I didn’t expect it to be like this in person," he said. "I’d seen it on TV and in video games and stuff. But it’s so much more immaculate when you get out here. Super excited to be here. … They are doing really well this year, so I’m excited to see where they will be in the next couple years and be a part of it.”
The Orioles also today announced the signing of their Competitive Balance Round B pick, outfielder Jud Fabian of the University of Florida. He was their fourth pick Sunday night and No. 67 overall in the MLB Draft.
In 66 games with the Gators he hit .239/.414/.598/1.012 with 24 homers and 55 RBIs. He hit 20 homers in the 2021 season and was Boston’s No. 40 overall pick last year but didn’t sign. The O’s had interest in him with pick No. 41, but Boston selected him first.
“You know, Baltimore actually wanted me last year," Fabian said. "The Red Sox took me without kind of talking to me, so decided to go back. My brother was actually going to be a freshman at the University of Florida, so having that chance to play with him – he was playing third, I was playing center field – it was a really cool experience and I’m glad it worked out like that.
“Had some phone calls with them (the Orioles) last year and had a phone call this year. This is where I want to be. It’s a great organization and a great field that you can play on. So, having the opportunity to come here two years in a row, it’s pretty special. I actually played with Boog Powell’s grandson growing up, so I would hear stories about that.”
The players are now likely to report to the O’s facility in Sarasota, Fla., and may begin their careers playing games in the Rookie-level Florida Complex League.
Fabian also expressed excitement in joining a farm system on the rise.
“It’s awesome. I know a few guys in the system already, like Coby Mayo and Anthony Servideo, so talking with those guys and seeing all the other prospects, it’s going to be cool to play with them and have the opportunity to win a World Series.”