Orioles draft high school pitcher Gonzalez with third-round pick (updated)

The Orioles had to wait until the second day of the First-Year Player Draft to make a selection, but in the third round this afternoon, they drafted a high school pitcher from Florida. In the third round: The O's selected left-handed pitcher Brian Gonzalez from Archbishop McCarthy High School in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Gonzalez is 6-foot-1 and 230 pounds. According to Baseball America's scouting report on Gonzalez, he throws his fastball 87 to 90 mph, touching 91, and throws a changeup and curveball. The report says Gonzalez has a college commitment to Miami and has the stuff and control to profile as a back-end starter. This season, he went 10-0 with a 0.50 ERA and 129 strikeouts and pitched two no-hitters. Gonzalez played for a powerhouse team, one that won three consecutive state championships and produced Alex Avila, Nick Castellanos and Nick Travieso in the last decade. On the MLB.com broadcast of the draft, former O's executive Jim Duquette talked about this pick. "They have a lot of depth in their system with pitching, so they get a high school pitcher," Duquette said. "This allows them to let him develop a little bit. Nice, crisp delivery. Big strong kid, you look at the lower half and certainly looks like he can handle the workload." Jonathan Mayo said he is a decent hitter as well who played first base also in high school, even though he was announced as a pitcher during the draft. "If he were to go to college and I'm assuming the Orioles will try to sign him as their top pick, he would be a two-way guy at University of Miami," Mayo said. "Pretty good hitter as well. More athletic than you think, if you look at the body type." Click here for the MLB.com video on Gonzalez. In the fourth round: The Orioles drafted right-handed pitcher Pat Connaughton out of Notre Dame with the 121st selection. He also plays on the Irish basketball team. The 6-foot-5, 210 pounder is 21 years old. His fastball has touched 95 mph with good sink. This season he went 3-5 with an ERA of 3.92. In 62 innings, he allowed 53 hits with 40 walks and 36 strikeouts. He pitched his first career complete game on April 12 in a 4-2 win over Boston College. He has not allowed a homer in 154 2/3 career innings. For the basketball team, Connaughton averaged 13.8 points, 7.1 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. He could play basketball during his senior season but still sign a pro contract with the Orioles, allowing him to go pro in baseball in 2015. He is considered to have a more promising future as a baseball player. Connaughton was drafted in the 38th round of the 2011 draft by the San Diego Padres as a senior out of St. John's Prep in Danvers, Mass. He was ranked for this draft No. 129 on Baseball America's top 500 rankings of draft-eligible players. Mayo compared Connaughton to a former Notre Dame two-sport standout now playing big league baseball, Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija. "I can't help but help but see parallels here between him and Jeff Samardzija," Mayo said. "Samardzija an All-American receiver at Notre Dame. Like Connaughton, very athletic, tall, really good fastball that climbs to 95 (mph). But these guys didn't dominate in college, probably because they were playing two sports at a very high level. Look at what Samardzija's become. "Lot of upside with this guy. Needs to refine his secondary pitches, the control and command need to come. But when is playing baseball full-time, he has a chance to do that." In the fifth round: The Orioles selected another pitcher, taking right-hander David Hess out of Tennessee Tech. Hess, who turns 21 on July 10, is 6-foot-2 and 210 pounds. He just concluded his junior season. The Baseball America scouting report said Hess pitched out of the bullpen in his first two seasons, but was a starter this year. He has a quick arm and hides the ball well, with his 89-93 mph fastball jumping out of his hand, touching 96 at its best. His slider shows above-average potential. He also throws a changeup. Scouts project him long-term as a bullpen pitcher. Hess went 9-3 with a 3.24 ERA in 16 starts this year. Over 97 1/3 innings, he allowed 81 hits with 34 walks and 104 strikeouts. He averaged 9.62 strikeouts per nine innings and a .227 batting average against. In the sixth round: The O's drafted a junior college pitcher, taking lefty Tanner Scott from Howard College in Texas. He is 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds, and is the fourth straight pitcher the O's have taken today. The Baseball America scouting report called Scott one of the top arms in the Texas junior college ranks and he was rated No. 184 on BA's top 500. He has pitched in the mid 90s this year, touching 97 mph. He began his college career with Division II Notre Dame (Ohio), going 3-5 with a 5.55 ERA last year. This season, he struggled to throw strikes at times with 45 walks and 76 strikeouts in 61 innings. His older brother Tyler just signed with the Minnesota Vikings after playing college ball as a defensive end at Northwestern. Jim Callis of MLB.com talked about this lefty. "He kind of came out of nowhere last year at Notre Dame of Ohio," Callis said. "Arm strength guy that has been up at 94, 95 (mph) with heavy sink. Kind of a one-pitch guy, kind of a one-trick pony. But it's a really interesting arm. Guys don't love the delivery, but that kind of arm strength in a lefty, you don't see it often." In the seventh round: The Orioles took redshirt junior left-handed pitcher Max Schuh out of UCLA, continuing their run on pitchers this afternoon. The 22-year-old Schuh is 6-foot-4 and 210 pounds, and is the third lefty they have drafted today. He first went to UCLA as a walk-on for the football team. He was on the team as a quarterback but did not get into any games during the 2010-11 seasons. The BA scouting report says Schuh has a high three-quarters delivery, making his 86-91 mph fastball tough to pick up. Some scouts see him profiling as reliever. Schuh is ranked No. 360 on the BA top 500. This year for UCLA, he was 0-1 with an ERA of 1.55 in 37 games, all in relief. In 29 innings, he gave up 22 hits with 10 walks, 34 strikeouts and a .214 average against. He pitched in the Northwoods League last summer for Duluth, going 0-1 with a 2.07 ERA over 13 games. In the eighth round: The O's selected their first position player, taking Clemson second baseman Steve Wilkerson. The 22-year-old Wilkerson is a switch-hitter, and 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds. In 56 games as a senior for the Tigers this year, he batted .317 with 18 doubles, a triple, six homers and 42 RBIs. He walked 21 times, with 33 strikeouts, and had a .383 on-base percentage and .502 slugging percentage. Wilkerson stole 8-of-9 bases. Wilkerson played for Hyannis in the Cape Cod League last summer, batting .244 with one homer and nine RBIs in 34 games. He went 6-for-12 in three playoff games. In the ninth round: The Orioles selected third baseman Austen Anderson out of the University of Mississippi with the draft's 271st overall pick. The 22-year-old Anderson is 5-foot-11 and 190 pounds. In 62 games as a senior this year he batted .332 with 18 doubles, a triple, four homers and 39 RBIs. He had a .418 OBP and .463 slugging percentage. Anderson, from Sorrento, Fla. walked 29 times with 22 strikeouts and stole 10-of-16 bases. In the 10th round: The Orioles took junior center fielder Jay Gonzalez out of Mount Olive College in North Carolina. Gonzalez is 5-foot-11 and 180 pounds. He began his college career at Auburn. In 53 games this season, he batted .425 with nine doubles, three triples, three homers and 34 RBIs. He stole 51 bases in 56 attempts. Gonzalez fanned 41 times with 34 walks and had a .500 on-base percentage and .537 slugging percentage. He scored 81 runs. "He struck out 41 times in 214 at-bats, so as a speed guy, he will definitely have to control that," Callis said of Gonzalez. "I don't have my calculator handy but the batting average of balls in play for this kid must be over .500. So pretty impressive year for Jay Gonzalez." That wraps up the drafting for today. The draft resumes at 1 p.m. Saturday with rounds 11 through 40. The O's today selected five pitchers and three position players. They drafted one high school player and seven from the college ranks. Readers that want to leave a draft question or comment can do that here and those that want to talk about tonight's game can go to the game blog. Later tonight, I'll publish an interview with the O's top pick in this draft, Gonzalez, the high school pitcher from Florida.

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