Mike Elias: "I think it’s liftoff from here for this team"

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ARLINGTON, Texas – The trade deadline passed yesterday and Orioles executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias hopped on a flight last night to join the team in Texas to explain the moves he made, and to express his desire to seize a wild card spot. To clear the air before they played another game with the roof closed.

He didn’t quit the chase. He just stuck with the plan of strengthening the organization from top to bottom.

A core group of veterans met with Elias in manager Brandon Hyde’s office, including outfielders Cedric Mullins and Austin Hays, and first baseman Ryan Mountcastle.

The day begins with the Orioles 1 ½ games out of the final playoff berth. Trey Mancini and Jorge López were traded over the past two days. Elias wanted to make certain that the message didn’t come across as mixed.

“I wanted to, as I’m emphasizing right now to the public, there’s a plan in place,” Elias said. “It’s going exceptionally well. We’ve got a very bright future ahead of us. I don’t want us utilizing the opportunity of the trade deadline the way we did the last couple of days to speak to the fact that this is a team that is going to have to be reckoned with from now, and this point forward, in our division. We’re going to have to scout and develop and manage the roster a certain way to maintain it that way. We’ve seen our competitors do that and we’re there. We’re at that point.

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Orioles and Rangers lineups (and notes)

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ARLINGTON, Texas – Jordan Lyles is still listed as the Orioles' starter tonight. Anthony Santander is in left field, Cedric Mullins is in center and Austin Hays is in right. Rougned Odor is the second baseman.

A little over an hour before the trade deadline arrives and the Orioles haven’t made another move.

Terrin Vavra is the designated hitter. Adley Rutschman is catching.

The Orioles are 52-51 to match last year’s win total, and they’re 2 ½ games out of the last wild card spot.

Santander extended his hitting streak to 12 games last night.

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Draft pick Green looks, acts the part at Nationals Park

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The first reaction everyone had upon seeing Elijah Green on Friday was universal.

“Big kid,” Nationals manager Davey Martinez said.

“Obviously, he’s a big dude,” first baseman Josh Bell added.

The Nationals’ first-round draft pick indeed is big, certainly for his age. How many 6-foot-3, 225-pound 18-year-olds do you know? And then how many of them can put on a clinic in batting practice, then chase down everything hit his way in center field?

“For me, it’s not just one tool. It’s everything he can do,” Martinez said. “I watched a lot of video of him before we drafted him. He can run, he can hit, he can hit for power. His defense, it looks like his first step was really good. For me, it’s exciting to have a kid that has that many tools.”

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After huge college season, Max Wagner arrived in Birdland today

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He ended the season at Clemson as the ACC Player of the Year. But when the year started for the Tigers, third baseman Max Wager, who hit just .214 in the 2021 college season, was not even in the starting lineup. But once he got in, he stayed in.

His big year led him to that ACC honor and to becoming the third MLB Draft selection by the Orioles on the the first night of the draft. They selected him in round two, No. 42 overall. Not bad for a kid from Green Bay, Wis., who had an OPS of just .651 in 2021.

The Orioles announced the signing of Wagner today, officially their third signed selection following Cal outfielder Dylan Beavers (No. 33 overall) and University of Florida outfielder Jud Fabian (No. 67).

The club announced this afternoon that it will hold a press conference tomorrow to introduce their No. 1 overall selection, high school shortstop Jackson Holliday.

Wagner talked to O's reporters today in a dugout interview about the amazing improvement he made this year at Clemson.

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Draft tracker: Nats make final picks of 2022 draft (final update)

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The 2022 MLB Draft concludes today before tonight’s All-Star Game. The Nationals have 10 picks this afternoon, one in each of the remaining rounds.

Through the first 10 rounds, the Nats drafted two third basemen, one shortstop, three outfielders, one catcher, two right-handers and one left-hander. They selected three high school players, highlighted by 18-year-old outfielder Elijah Green out of IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., with the No. 5 overall pick Sunday night, and seven players from the college ranks.

“There's gonna be some kids out there that maybe got their feelings hurt a little bit,” assistant general manager and vice president of scouting operations Kris Kline said on Zoom call with reporters at the conclusion of yesterday’s selections. “Maybe you want to circle back and they may really want to play. So we'll go back and talk to them about, you know, the guys that said no, we'll go back and talk to all of them that said no, and ask them where they stand, how they feel now. And put the board together to the best of our ability. But that being said, I thought this first two days of the draft was really, really good. A really positive thing for the organization that's kind of in a rebuilding process. Guys did a great job.”

With their first pick of the day, the Nats selected right-hander Luke Young out of Midland College in Texas with the 321st overall pick in the 11th round. He’s listed as 6-foot-3 and 170 pounds.

A reliever for Midland, the 20-year-old went 9-4 with a 3.95 ERA, 110 strikeouts, 27 walks and only three home runs allowed over 79 ⅔ innings this year.

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O's select Oklahoma State pitcher as draft resumes with round three (updated)

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The Orioles began the second day of the draft and selected Oklahoma State pitcher Nolan McLean. He becomes the highest pitcher selected by the club under Mike Elias. The previous highest had been in the fifth rounds in 2020 with Carter Baumler and 2021 with Carlos Tavera.

McLean, who also was a position player as an infielder for Oklahoma State, went 2-1 with a 4.97 ERA and five saves out of the bullpen. In 25 1/3 innings he allowed 20 hits with 13 walks, 39 strikeouts and a .206 batting average against. In 64 games as a hitter he batted .285/.397/.595 with 16 doubles, 19 homers and 47 RBIs. 

He is a right-handed hitter and thrower and was a draft-eligible sophomore. MLB.com rated him No. 115 in this draft class.

The Orioles are making selections today through round 10, and they have eight picks over the eight rounds through the 10th. The slot amount for the third-rounder at No. 81 is $793,600 of a total O’s draft pool of $16.924 million. The slot amount for their No. 1 pick is $8,842,200, and it is $2,313,900 for their second selection, No. 33 overall.

In Round 4: The O’s drafted University of Texas catcher Silas Ardoin, a redshirt sophomore. In 69 games for the Longhorns he batted .271/.391/.513 with 20 doubles, a triple, 12 homers and 50 RBIs. He walked 39 times and fanned 54.

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A look at the O's four picks on first day of MLB Draft

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When the Orioles made their third No. 1 overall MLB Draft pick in team history on Sunday night, the pick was a popular one with a couple of the MLB Network analysts. They reacted quite favorably on the telecast when the O’s selected high school shortstop Jackson Holliday from Stillwater, Okla.

The son of long-time big league outfielder Matt Holliday, Jackson was Baseball America’s national High School Player of the Year. Holliday, who gets 60 grades from scouts for his hit tool, running and arm, is age 18 and hit .685/.749/1.392 (89-for-130) with 29 doubles, six triples, 17 home runs, 74 runs scored, 79 RBIs and 30 stolen bases in 40 games during his senior season. His 89 hits set a national high school record.

He follows Ben McDonald in 1989 and Adley Rutschman in 2019 as O’s 1/1 picks and is the first high school position player the team made its top draft pick since Manny Machado in 2010.

The slot amount to sign Holliday is listed at $8,842,200.

“They didn’t cut a deal here,” said Jim Callis of MLBPipeline.com on the MLB Network draft telecast. “They took one of the best players. I think Jackson Holliday is probably the best combination of hitting ability and ceiling in this draft. He plays on the infield, Druw Jones (drafted second) is an outfielder, there is defensive value here. I like Harold's (Reynolds) Bobby Witt Jr. parallel. He is a five-tool shortstop. I can’t think of too many players - and Jackson Holliday is one - that got better in every phase of the game (this season). Better hitter, stronger, faster, better arm, better shortstop as a senior. He was a good player coming in and he’s a great player now. I love this pick for the Orioles.”

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He's No. 1/1: Jackson Holliday on being drafted by the Orioles

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For the third time in club history tonight the Orioles had the overall No. 1 selection in the MLB Draft. And after taking Ben McDonald in 1989 and Adley Rutschman 30 years later, the O’s went into the high school ranks tonight to select shortstop Jackson Holliday from Stillwater (Okla.) High School.

He is the first high school player the O’s selected with their top pick since pitcher Grayson Rodriguez in 2018, and first high school position player they spent their top pick on since Manny Machado was the No. 3 overall pick in the 2010 draft.

As it turns out, Holliday, 18, found out he would be an Oriole about the same time the rest of us did.

“I kind of found out as they were saying it,” he told O’s reporters on a team Zoom call. “That was kind of cool. My dad didn’t really tell me. He was on the phone and then he’s like ‘All right, just going to find out.’ That was very, very neat and something I’ll never forget. I didn’t know it was a possibility, to be honest, going into the high school season. I just wanted to help my team and hopefully put myself into a good position heading into today.”

Holliday said his dad, former big leaguer Matt Holliday, was on the phone with his representative, Scott Boras.

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Orioles select Jackson Holliday with first pick in draft (updated with fourth pick)

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The Orioles had five players on their board through the final weeks leading to tonight’s MLB Draft. They stuck to it, deliberated with scouts and front office personnel in a series of meetings, had a Zoom call with manager Brandon Hyde to bring him into the loop and settled on Oklahoma prep shortstop Jackson Holliday.

Holliday committed to Oklahoma State, but he’s ready to turn professional. Like his father, former major league outfielder and seven-time All-Star Matt Holliday.

The left-handed hitting Jackson, who’s 18 and listed at 6-feet-1 and 175 pounds, set a national record with 89 hits in 41 games at Stillwater High School, passing J.T. Realmuto, while batting .685 with 29 doubles, six triples, 17 home runs, 79 RBIs, 74 runs scored, a .749 on-base percentage and a 1.392 slugging percentage.

He has a knack for putting the barrel on the ball, as noted just about everywhere.

It's no wonder that Holliday was named Oklahoma's prep player of the year.

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Getting caught up in the Orioles' draft as the day arrives

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The Orioles are playing their final game of the first half this afternoon, entering the All-Star break two games above or at .500, depending on the result. A chance to win another series. A chance to remind everyone that these aren’t the same Orioles, though that much already should be clear.

Players will bolt from the clubhouse to catch their own flights. The charter back to Baltimore is going to echo.

At least four Orioles can drive from St. Petersburg to their Florida homes, including outfielder Austin Hays and reliever Joey Krehbiel. The team is expected to open the ballpark Thursday for workouts. Knock off any rust.

The relaxation period this week will be delayed for the front office and scouts. The MLB Draft begins tonight with the first and second rounds, and the Competitive Balance A and B rounds.

The Orioles hold the first overall pick, along with the 33rd, 42nd and 67th.  It’s going to be a late night.

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Termarr Johnson if O’s draft him No. 1: “Baltimore gets a ring in a couple years”

Termarr Johnson Draft Combine

The Orioles will be picking first overall in the MLB Draft for the third time in the organization’s history on Sunday. One option with the No. 1 overall pick is Georgia high school infielder Termarr Johnson. 

“I don’t know too much about what’s gonna happen in the next couple days, but it’d mean a lot to me," Johnson said about the possibility of going No. 1. “Being selected with the Baltimore Orioles means that, you know, Baltimore gets a ring in a couple years.”

Johnson is rated as the No. 4 prospect in this year’s draft class, according to MLB Pipeline. Most scouts and draft experts rave about Johnson’s advanced bat for an 18-year-old, including Baseball America’s Carlos Collazo. 

“He’s easily the best high school hitter that I’ve seen,” Collazo said. “It’s a special, special bat.”

Baseball America ranked Johnson the No. 1 high school baseball player in the country last spring after he hit .417 with nine home runs, 23 stolen bases, eight doubles and five triples for Benjamin E. Mays High School in Atlanta. 

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Nats must start turning draft picks into quality big leaguers

Nats must start turning draft picks into quality big leaguers
At the crux of the Nationals' decision to trade away eight veterans and begin a franchise rebuilding project this summer was an acknowledgment by the front office that its farm system desperately needed to be restocked. Had their system been filled with more prospects who could step in and take over when veterans either got hurt or saw their skills fade, the Nats might well have stayed the course and made an attempt to continue winning now instead of shifting focus to the future. But that...
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Source: Nats agree to terms with first-round pick House

Source: Nats agree to terms with first-round pick House
As they continue to tear down their 2021 roster in the final hours leading up to today's trade deadline, the Nationals took a key step in their quest to rebuild the franchise back up in the coming years, agreeing to a deal with recent first-round draft pick Brady House. The agreement, first reported by Baseball America and confirmed by a source familiar with the signing, is for $5 million, which is more than $450,000 above the designated slot value for the 11th overall pick. House, 18,...
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Game 96 lineups: Nats at Orioles

Game 96 lineups: Nats at Orioles
This season's edition of the Battle of the Beltways concludes this weekend in Baltimore after the Nationals swept the Orioles in D.C. in May. Manager Davey Martinez has been asked a lot recently about how he can use Josh Bell and Ryan Zimmerman in the same lineup, with Bell getting some reps in left field during batting practice recently and Zimmerman trying to get his swing back from earlier in the year. That won't be a problem this weekend, though, in an American League ballpark. Bell is...
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After limping into break, rested Nats need to start thriving

After limping into break, rested Nats need to start thriving
The Nationals closed out the season's first half with their toughest two-week stretch to date: 14 games in 14 days, all of them against contenders. The goal at the time: Survive and reach the All-Star break in one piece. How'd they do? Things started off swimmingly with three straight wins over the Mets and Rays. Then Trea Turner and Kyle Schwarber got hurt just as the Nats were about to face the National League West's three top teams, and they proceeded to lose nine of 11, limping into the...
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O's select righty Dylan Heid in Round 11 of draft (updated)

O's select righty Dylan Heid in Round 11 of draft (updated)
The Orioles started the final day of the First-Year Player Draft by selecting senior right-handed pitcher Dylan Heid from Division II Pitt-Johnstown after he posted some eye-popping stats during the 2021 season. Taken No. 317 overall in round 11, Heid went 7-2 with an ERA of 1.37 in nine starts with four shutouts and six complete games. He allowed 25 hits in 59 1/3 innings with 15 walks and 105 strikeouts. He posted a WHIP of 0.67 and allowed a batting average against of just .126. He was a...
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Day two draft recap with Brad Ciolek and a thrilling derby

Day two draft recap with Brad Ciolek and a thrilling derby
As fans around Birdland noted yesterday that the Orioles have taken just one pitcher so far in this draft, I will take a moment to point out a few things to consider. For one, the Orioles do have several pitchers in the minor league pipeline they like, to include several among their top 30 prospects list and two in overall top 100 lists in Grayson Rodriguez and DL Hall. Also - and we have heard this so many times over so many drafts - you don't select for current need in the First-Year Player...
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Mike Rizzo and Kris Kline on drafting Cade Cavalli

Mike Rizzo and Kris Kline on drafting Cade Cavalli
General manager Mike Rizzo and assistant GM & vice president of scouting operations Kris Kline spoke with reporters via Zoom conference call on Wednesday after selecting right-hander Cade Cavalli with the No. 22 overall pick in the 2020 MLB Draft.
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Cade Cavalli excited to join "best organization out there"

Cade Cavalli excited to join "best organization out there"
Oklahoma right-hander Cade Cavalli spoke with reporters via Zoom conference call on Wednesday after being selected by the Nationals with the No. 22 overall pick of the 2020 MLB Draft.
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Nats need to find more success with late first-round picks

Nats need to find more success with late first-round picks
The Nationals built a contender - and ultimately, a World Series champion - on the strength of an impressive run of first-round draft picks who developed into superstars. Ryan Zimmerman. Stephen Strasburg. Anthony Rendon. Bryce Harper and Drew Storen (aside from the champion part). All were top-10 selections during the Nats' first seven drafts. All had a hand in the franchise's ascension. The first three had a major hand in the franchise's title run. But if they want to continue this run of...
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