LOS ANGELES – The Baltimore Orioles aimed high with their draft pick in the 13th round.
As much as seven feet – and that’s before their new pitching prospect arrives on the mound.
O’s selected 7-foot left-hander Jared Beck from Saint Leo University with the first choice in round 13 of baseball’s amateur draft on Tuesday. If Beck gets to the majors, he would pass 6-foot-11 pitchers Sean Hjelle and Jon Rauch as the highest player in Major League history.
Beck knocked out 105 hits in 68 1/3 innings for Division II Saint Leo this season, posting an ERA of 3.95. He has also played summer ball for Savannah Bananas, where he stood out in a smaller league club with a focus more on crazy entertainment than player development.
The O’s look at Beck as more than a rarity, and quote a fastball they clocked up to 95 mph. Baltimore draft director Brad Ciolek acknowledged Wednesday that there is work to be done to help Beck deal with the extra-long limbs, and they plan to help him improve the wrestling ball and swap as well.
“Jared is a very interesting case,” Ciolek said. “Of course, he’s a slightly bigger guy, and that may require a little more, I guess, when it comes to delivery, refining his mechanics. But we have faith in our player development staff, the pitching coaches, that they will be able to get the most. possible out of his ability. “
There have been at least two baseball players taller than Beck at 7 feet-1. Dutch pitcher Loek van Mil played 10 seasons in associated ball, mostly with Minnesota, and Ryan Doherty played part of three seasons in Arizona’s system before moving on to professional beach volleyball.
Here are some other choices worth noting from the draft’s third and final day, which covered rounds 11-20:
RHP Marquis Grissom Jr., Washington: Grissom’s father was selected in the third round of the Montreal Expos in 1988 and played six seasons as an outfielder for the club, which moved to Washington in 2005. The younger Grissom was a 13th round pick for the same franchise. after going 4-5 with 57 strikeouts in 61 innings as a starting pitcher at Georgia Tech.
3B Jackson Jaha, New York Mets: Jaha, a 15th-round pick, is the son of former major league slugger John, who played 10 seasons with Milwaukee and Oakland. Jackson is a high school player from Clackamas High School in Oregon and is committed to the University of Oregon.
RHP Caden Dana and OF Casey Dana, Los Angeles Angels: LA selected Caden, a high school pitcher, in the 11th round, and then selected his brother Casey, an outfielder from UConn, in the 16th round. Caden is committed to Kentucky for college and can claim a hefty signing bonus. Finding a job for his brother, a fifth-year senior at the Huskies, can help with these negotiations.
RHP Jared Karros, Los Angeles Dodgers: Eric Karros played 12 seasons in Dodger Blue, winning Rookie of the Year in 1992 as first baseman. Jared went to UCLA just like his father, where he had a 3.33 ERA for the Bruins, good enough for the Dodgers to take him in the 16th round.
RHP / LHP Jurrangelo Cijntje, Milwaukee: Cijntje is a prospect with both arms, reaching 96 mph from the right and 92 mph from the left. The Florida high school player lasted until the 18th round and can honor his college commitment to Mississippi State. If he decides to sign, he can follow Pat Venditte’s path as an ambidextrous big league hurler.