Quick Q&A with Silas Ardoin

SARASOTA, Fla. – The name rang a bell. In all of its mispronounced Louisiana glory.

The Orioles selected catcher Silas Ardoin in the fourth round of the 2022 draft out of the University of Texas. The mind immediately shifted to Danny Ardoin, the father who played in 165 games in the majors, including five with the Orioles in 2006.

Same position, too.

Silas is in his first major league camp after batting .238/.366/.361 in 385 plate appearances between High-A Aberdeen and Double-A Bowie.

“I wouldn’t say that I was expecting it,” he said, “but I’m just excited for the opportunity to be here.”

The Orioles grabbed Danny on waivers from the Rockies on Aug. 30, 2006 and he signed with the Nationals three months later. He was 1-for-13 with an RBI for the Orioles and didn’t return to the majors until 2008 with the Dodgers.

The name, by the way, is pronounced ARD-way.

You turned 6-years-old the season that your father played for the Orioles. Can I assume you don’t remember much about it?

“Short stint for sure.”

Any memories of his career as a kid? You being the kid, of course.

“I don’t have any memories with the Orioles just because it was so short. I don’t think I went out to see him with the Orioles, but I do have some memories from going to the locker room and going to the field with him and those kinds of things, and that was always fun.”

What was the family reaction to the Orioles drafting you?

“It was awesome. It didn’t matter which team drafted me, but the Orioles are special because my dad played for them, and also, he was just happy for me to have that moment, have my own career.”

Your dad caught for five teams in the majors. Were you destined to play the position?

“Actually, growing up I played infield up until high school. I didn’t start catching until high school. My dad always told me that was part of his plan to move me to catcher whenever I got older, because he knew I’d be a lot like him. We’d have the same build and same kind of athlete. I enjoy being back there catching.”

Where did you play in the infield?

“I played short and third. The left side.”

Do shortstops typically convert to catcher, considering the traditional different body type?

“When you’re younger it’s a lot different. The fields are a little bit smaller, you don’t have to cover as much ground. I was mainly a shortstop just because I knew a lot about baseball compared to my teammates and I could take control of the field and move people and lead our team from that aspect. Catching isn’t as important whenever you’re young. Shortstop’s the more important spot.”

What’s it like being a catcher in an organization that has Adley Rutschman, a veteran like James McCann and a prospect like Samuel Basallo?

“It’s awesome. I think it’s a blessing to be in his organization with these people around me because we have great players all over the locker room and the catchers’ room especially. We have the best catcher in baseball, Adley. We have the best backstop group in MLB with him and James. Those guys have a ton of knowledge and can help me better myself each and every day. And with Basallo, he’s a great player and a great guy, and we get along well. He’ one of my good friends in the organization and I think we push each other every day to get better, just because we know that we’re somewhat in competition. But that’s not important. We just want to get each other better.”  

What can you learn from these guys?

“Endless things. McCann has nine-plus years playing at the highest level and that’s something that you can’t take for granted whenever have a locker right next to him like I do. Just picking his brain each and every day about what he’s seen and what he’s learned throughout his years. And the same for Adley. He’s a great player. He’s going to have an amazing career. And just learn how he got there, learn from his experiences playing in MLB. It’s always been a dream of mine to be up there, so I’ve got to know what it takes to get up here.”

Pretty cool to be here now on a team that had the best record in the American League?

“No doubt. I love winning.”

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