The Baltimore Orioles today made 10 selections on Day Two of the 2021 First-Year Player Draft, completing rounds 2-10. The Orioles started the day by selecting Iinfielder Connor Norby at No. 41 overall from East Carolina University (NC). The Orioles also selected outfielder Reed Trimble at No. 65 overall from the University of Southern Mississippi, outfielder John Rhodes at No. 76 overall from the University of Kentucky, outfielder Donta’ Williams at No. 106 overall from the University of Arizona, right-hander Carlos Tavara at No. 137 overall from the University of Texas Arlington, infielder Collin Burns at No. 167 overall from Tulane University (LA), catcher Connor Pavolony at No. 197 overall from the University of Tennessee, catcher Creed Willems at No. 227 from Aledo (TX) High School, infielder Ryan Higgins at No. 257 overall from Fresno State University (CA), and outfielder Billy Cook at No. 287 overall from Pepperdine University (CA).
Norby, 21, an infielder from East Carolina University (NC), hit .415/.484/.659 (102-for-246) with 15 doubles, 15 home runs, 64 runs, and 51 RBI in 61 games during his junior season in 2021, earning him American Athletic Conference (AAC) Player of the Year honors. He led the nation in hits and became the fourth player in ECU program history with 100-or-more hits in a season, collecting at least one hit in 53 of 61 games. He led the Pirates with 15 home runs and was named the winner of the 2021 Bobby Bragan Collegiate Slugger Award. Norby was named a First Team All-American by the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA), Baseball America, and D1Baseball.com and was named a Second Team All-American by Collegiate Baseball, the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA), and Perfect Game. He was also named a Golden Spikes Award and Dick Howser Trophy Semifinalist. Norby was ranked as the No. 43 overall draft prospect by Baseball America and No. 58 by MLB.com.
As a sophomore in 2020, Norby was one of five Pirates to start all 17 games in the pandemic-shortened season, batting .403/.439/.500 (25-for-62) with one double, one triple, one home run, 14 runs, and 10 RBI. During his freshman season in 2019, he played in 26 games and made two starts. Norby played summer ball in 2019 for the Waynesboro Generals of the Valley League and was named to the All-Valley League Second Team.
A graduate of East Forsyth (NC) High School, Norby was a four-year letterwinner, leading the Eagles to three state playoff appearances. He earned Central Piedmont 4A Conference Player of the Year and North Carolina All-State honors as a senior in 2018, in addition to being named Team MVP twice (2017-18) and Offensive MVP once (2016). He was a three-time 4A Piedmont Triad All-Conference selection.
Trimble, 21, an outfielder from the University of Southern Mississippi, hit .345/.414/.638 (81-for-235) with 14 doubles, two triples, 17 home runs, 59 runs, and 72 RBI in 59 games as a sophomore in 2021. He led the Golden Eagles in batting average, home runs, RBI, and stolen bases (12), and ranked tied for first in the nation in RBI with Andy Garriola of Old Dominion University. He was named a Second Team All-American and a First Team Freshman All-American by the NCBWA, as well as a Third Team All-American by Perfect Game. Trimble was ranked as the No. 104 overall draft prospect by Baseball America and No. 148 by MLB.com.
As a true freshman in 2020, Trimble batted .275/.318/.400 (11-for-40) with two doubles, one home run, four runs, and 12 RBI in 11 games (10 starts) before the cancelation of the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A graduate of Northwest Rankin (MS) High School, Trimble was named First Team 6A All-State as a high school senior in 2019.
Rhodes, 20, an outfielder from the University of Kentucky, hit .251/.397/.508 (47-for-187) with 15 doubles, 11 home runs, 47 runs, 36 RBI, and 28 walks in 52 games during his sophomore year in 2021. He led the nation in outfield assists with eight and did not commit an error. His 47 runs, 15 doubles, 28 walks, and 18 hit-by-pitches led the team. Rhodes was named to the Preseason All-American Third Team by D1Baseball.com and Collegiate Baseball entering the 2021 season. He was ranked as the No. 134 overall draft prospect by MLB.com and No. 173 by Baseball America.
As a freshman in 2020, Rhodes hit .426/.485/.672 (26-for-61) with 10 doubles, one triple, one home run, 11 runs, and 19 RBI in 17 games. He led the SEC and ranked second nationally in doubles and hit twice as many doubles as any other SEC freshman. His .426 average was the highest for any UK player with at least 50 at-bats since 1994. Rhodes was named Third Team All-American and National Co-Freshman of the Year by Collegiate Baseball.
A graduate of Chattanooga Christian (TN) High School, Rhodes was named to the 2019 all-state team by the Tennessee Baseball Coaches Association and Tennessee Baseball Report. He helped lead Chattanooga Christian to district titles in both baseball and basketball in 2018 and 2019.
Williams, 22, an outfielder from the University of Arizona, hit .342/.481/.538 (82-for-240) with 17 doubles, three triples, eight home runs, 81 runs, 49 RBI, and 50 walks as a senior in 2021. He was named to the Tucson NCAA Regional All-Tournament Team, Pac-12 All-Conference team, and the Pac-12 All-Defensive Team. He was ranked as the No. 322 overall draft prospect by Baseball America.
In four years at the University of Arizona, Williams hit .302/.443/.455 (178-for-589) with 33 doubles, 12 triples, 11 home runs, 181 runs, 108 RBI, and 118 walks. He was a Pac-12 All-Defensive Team selection in 2019. Williams played in 25 games with the Cotuit Kettleers in the Cape Cod League, helping lead them to the Cape Cod Championship in 2019. He attended Legacy (NV) High School, where he served as captain of the baseball team for all four seasons.
Tavera, 22, a right-handed pitcher from the University of Texas Arlington, pitched to a 3-4 record with a 3.04 ERA (28 ER/83.0 IP) and 117 strikeouts in 15 games (14 starts) during his junior campaign in 2021. He led the Sun Belt Conference in strikeouts while setting a Mavericks single-season record. He was named First Team Sun Belt All-Conference and to the Sun Belt Championship All-Tournament Team. He was ranked as the No. 481 overall draft prospect by Baseball America.
Tavera pitched to a 6-6 record with a 3.42 ERA (45 ER/118.1 IP) with 158 strikeouts in 28 games (21 starts) across three seasons for the Mavericks. He attended Fossil Ridge (TX) High School, where he was named the District Pitcher of the Year and Third Team All-State in 2016.
Burns, 21, an infielder from Tulane University (LA), hit .353/.410/.571 (84-for-238) with 20 doubles, four triples, eight home runs, 55 runs, and 50 RBI in 55 games during his junior campaign in 2021. He was the only player on the team to start in all 55 games and was a finalist for the Brooks Wallace Shortstop of the Year Award. Burns was a three-year letterwinner at De La Salle High School in New Orleans.
Pavolony, 21, a catcher from the University of Tennessee, hit .259/.378/.454 (76-for-293) with 16 doubles, one triple, 13 home runs, 58 runs, and 55 RBI in 105 career games. He was named to the NCAA Knoxville All-Regional Team, SEC All-Tournament Team, Golden Spikes Award Preseason watch list, and Buster Posey National Collegiate Catcher of the Year watch list as a junior in 2021. Pavolony was ranked as the No. 3 catcher in Georgia by Perfect Game coming out of River Ridge (GA) High School.
Willems, 18, a catcher from Aledo (TX) High School, was named to the 2021 Preseason All-American and All-Region Teams, the 2020 Preseason Underclassmen All-American Team, and the 2019 Preseason Underclassmen All-American Team by Perfect Game.
Higgins, 21, an infielder from Fresno State University (CA), hit .352/.453/.667 (58-for-165), with 13 doubles, three triples, 11 home runs, 45 runs, and 41 RBI as a junior in 2021. He led the team in hits, runs, doubles, triples, home runs, RBI, total bases, batting average, and on-base percentage. He earned All-Mountain West honors as a sophomore in 2020 and was ranked the No. 230 draft prospect by MLB.com. Higgins led Saint Francis (CA) High School to the Division II Central Coast Section Championship as a senior in 2018.
Cook, 22, an outfielder from Pepperdine University hit .298/.386/.725 (39-for-131) with three doubles, one triple, 17 home runs, 36 runs, and 42 RBI as a senior in 2021. His 17 home runs were tied for the third-most in program history. He earned First Team All-West Coast Conference honors in 2021. Cook attended Lewis-Paler (CO) High School and was named the Gazette Player of the Year as a senior and earned All-State 4A honors three times.
After two days of the Draft, the Orioles have selected 11 players overall: 10 position players and one pitcher, with 10 of the selections being college athletes. The Orioles have selected three infielders, five outfielders, two catchers, and one right-handed pitcher. The Draft will conclude tomorrow, July 13, on MLB.com with rounds 11-20 starting at 12:00 p.m. ET.