The Orioles today announced the signings of 20 of their 41 draft picks and also signed one undrafted free agent. The highest selection signed was fourth-round pick, shortstop Joey Ortiz out of New Mexico State. The slot amount for that pick, No. 108 overall, is $538,200.
A junior, Ortiz is one of five finalists for the Brooks Wallace Award, which goes to the nation’s top shortstop. He was also named the Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year after batting .422/.474/.697 with 25 doubles, 10 triples, eight homers, 85 runs and 84 RBIs. The righty hitter was never previously drafted.
Here the other draft pick signings:
Round 7 - OF Johnny Rizer, Texas Christian University
Round 8 - RHP Griffin McLarty, College of Charleston
Round 10 - C Jordan Cannon, Sam Houston State
Round 14 - CF Mason Janvrin, University of Central Missouri
Round 15 - RHP Kyle Martin, Fordham University
Round 16 - RHP Shelton Perkins, James Madison University
Round 17 - RHP Morgan McSweeney, Wake Forest
Round 18 - RHP Malachi Emond, University of New Mexico
Round 20 - RHP Clayton McGinness, Wichita State
Round 21 - 3B Toby Welk, Penn State Berks
Round 23 - CF Shayne Fontana, Lynn (Fla.) University
Round 25 - RHP Garrett Farmer, Jacksonville State
Round 26 - RHP Nick Roth, Randolph-Macon (Va.)
Round 27 - LHP Dillon McCollough, Eckerd (Fla.) College
Round 28 - RHP Jonathan Pendergast, Pepperdine
Round 30 - LHP Dalton Stambaugh, Morehead State (Ky.)
Round 32 - C Harris Yett, UNC-Charlotte
Round 33 - CF Craig Lewis, Seton Hill (Pa.) University
Round 36 - OF Trevor Kehe, Colorado School of Mines
The Orioles also signed right-hander James Ryan an undrafted player after the draft out of the University of Saint Katherine in California. As a senior this year, Ryan went 2-4 with a 5.40 ERA. Over 46 2/3 innings he walked 16 and fanned 59.
“We had 20 draft picks signed today and one after the draft pitcher,” Orioles executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias said during a dugout interview with reporters before tonight’s game. “Most notably the fourth-rounder, Joey Ortiz is signed and reporting to Aberdeen.
“So it’s good to have some progress there. I’m expecting to be rattling these off as we go. There are some big fish left. The biggest fishes left in our draft are left unsigned and that may take a little bit of work. But I still feel good about everything.”
So Elias does expect to sign all of the Orioles top draft picks, he said.
“As I’ve said all along, I’m very optimistic with Adley (Rutschman). He’s got a lot going on right now and is completing his finals, I think today. And then he’s got a slate of awards (to attend) including the Golden Spikes and the Dick Howser (award). There are a few others too. Sometimes it’s best to let the players participate in those types of things, prior to deeply engaging. But everything is going to go smoothly there, is my expectation. Also the Stanford kids, they just got knocked out (of the NCAA playoffs). They are actually still completing finals too and that’s a tough school. So, again, I think everything is in good shape. It’s just a matter of time for most of these guys.”
Elias is confident he will sign both high school players the Orioles took in the top 10 rounds. They are shortstop Gunnar Henderson, selected in round two (No. 42 overall) from Morgan Academy in Selma, Ala. and shortstop Darrell Hernaiz in round five from Americas High School in El Paso, Tex.
“I’m expecting to, I’m hoping to. Gunnar Henderson, big talent. And has a commitment to Auburn, which I’m sure is attractive to him. But this is a golden opportunity for a young infielder to come into a team that is focused on building through the farm system, building through prospects. Building through player development.
“And particularly in an area of relative lack of depth in our farm system. At least I think with infielders. So, really a good spot for a young kid like him. I think he knows that and at the end of the day it will be his decision and his family’s decision. But we’re going to put our best foot forward to get him signed here,” he said.