What a day! The Orioles poured excitement onto excitement on Sunday afternoon, starting with reports that came out from MASN’s Steve Melewski during the game against the Twins that Jackson Holliday is getting promoted to Bowie AND Coby Mayo is getting promoted to Norfolk. This was while the O’s were in the process of sweeping the Twins with what ended up being a 15-2 beatdown to head into the All-Star break with a five-game winning streak and the same number of losses as the Rays.
After the game was over with, there was the first day of the MLB draft. The Orioles were on the clock three times last night. With their first rounder, they grabbed Vanderbilt outfielder Enrique Bradfield Jr., a speedster who hasn’t shown much power to date but has a swing that has room for improvement. Check out my article on the Bradfield pick for more about the first rounder.
The Orioles finished off the draft night by picking UNC outfielder Mac Horvath at #53 and FSU right-hander Jackson Baumeister at #63. Baumeister is immediately notable since the Orioles finally drafted a pitcher in the top two rounds under Mike Elias. You can check out my day 1 wrap-up article for more about Horvath and Baumeister. In terms of pre-draft prospect rankings, some liked Horvath, including Keith Law, who had him at #44. Baumeister was unranked on the less thorough rankings and 167th by MLB Pipeline.
Bradfield has a connection with Orioles prospect Coby Mayo. They played 11U travel ball together a decade ago:
That settles it, Mike Elias. You’re not allowed to trade Mayo, because these guys have to play in the big leagues together now. It’ll be up to Mayo and Bradfield to make it together otherwise. Bradfield is a “walked more than he struck out” guy, with 45 walks to 40 strikeouts in his junior year, and he stole 130 bases across his three years at college, including a perfect 46-46 as a sophomore. Whoa.
Bradfield getting an immediate post-selection call from Elias:
Elite speed on the bases and on the phone. pic.twitter.com/SBSCnShA8Z— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) July 10, 2023
Stuff like this is what the pro wrestling world might call “cheap heat” but you know what, it gets me every time.
This afternoon will see the draft roll through rounds 3-10, where the O’s will see if they can turn a later-round player into a notable prospect. Some post-third round prospect success stories for the Elias tenure so far: Joey Ortiz, Darell Hernaiz, Coby Mayo, and if you’re excited about parts of their performance this year, Creed Willems and Justin Armbruester.
Also later tonight is the Home Run Derby, which will (still surprisingly to me) feature Orioles All-Star Adley Rutschman. You can watch that on ESPN starting at 8pm Eastern.
Around the blogO’sphere
Enrique Bradfield is running down a dream (FanGraphs)
FG writer Michael Baumann, not to be confused with the Orioles reliever, is a big fan of the O’s first rounder.
Mike Elias on the selection of Enrique Bradfield (Baltimore Baseball)
“One of the best realistic outcomes of the night,” said Elias. He thinks Bradfield could play as a leadoff hitter and an elite center fielder.
Ryan Mountcastle on his return to the Orioles roster (Steve Melewski)
Almost unnoticed among everything else that was going on yesterday, Mountcastle is back with the team. He pinch hit, got an RBI hit, and was immediately removed for a pinch runner. Guess they wanted to ease him back in to action.
The Orioles draft approach has fueled their major league turnaround. Staying the course will support their championship ambitions. (The Baltimore Banner)
Jon Meoli writes that the Orioles sticking with a philosophy of using early draft picks on hitters is going to be part of their formula for continued success.
Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries
Today in 1968, Hank Bauer was fired as manager of the Orioles with the team bringing a 43-37 record into the All-Star break. He was replaced by Earl Weaver. I’d say that worked out OK. Weaver managed the team to 48-34 that season and 1,480-1,060-1 before retiring for good in 1986.
In 2001, Cal Ripken Jr., playing in his final All-Star Game, hit a home run and won the MVP Award as the American League beat the National League, 4-1.
There are a few former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2018-19 pitcher Josh Rogers, 2018-20 pitcher David Hess, 2017 infielder Johnny Giavotella, 2002-03 outfielder Marty Cordova, 2000-04 reliever Buddy Groom, and 1975-76 infielder Bob Bailor. Today is Bailor’s 72nd birthday, so an extra happy birthday to him.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today include: theologian John Calvin (1509), engineer Nikola Tesla (1856), novelist Marcel Proust (1871), baseball Hall of Famer Andre Dawson (1954), musician Béla Fleck (1958), and singer-songwriter Jessica Simpson (1980).
On this day in history...
In 1460, during the Wars of the Roses, Richard “The Kingmaker” Neville led a Yorkist army to victory over the Lancastrians of reigning king Henry VI of England. Henry was captured in the battle and deposed the following year.
In 1778, France officially entered the war for American independence as its king, Louis XVI, declared war on Great Britain.
In 1890, Wyoming became the 44th of the United States.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on July 10. Have a safe Monday. Good luck to Adley Rutschman in the Home Run Derby.