The college ranks have been especially good to the Orioles in the MLB draft in recent years, so it’s no surprise Baltimore went back to the well three times Sunday night.

After taking Vanderbilt outfielder Enrique Bradfield Jr. with its first-round pick, Baltimore selected North Carolina outfielder Mac Horvath and Florida State right-handed pitcher Jackson Baumeister to close out Day 1 in Seattle.

Baumeister, taken with the No. 63 overall pick, is the club’s highest-drafted pitcher since righty Grayson Rodriguez became a first-round pick in 2018, before the arrival of general manager and Executive Vice President Mike Elias.

The O’s grabbed Horvath with their second-round pick, No. 53 overall. The 22-year-old was announced as an outfielder but moved around the diamond in college. In his junior year with the Tar Heels, Horvath played 32 games at third base, 20 in right field and eight in center field.

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As was the case with Bradfield, speed is Horvath’s best trait. Baseball America gives the right-handed hitter a 65-grade run tool on a 20-80 scale. Horvath swiped 25 bags in 60 games this season, while hitting .305 with 24 home runs.

“I think the first thing that really stands out about his game in general is just how good of an athlete he is,” said director of draft operations Brad Ciolek. “He’s a plus-runner, he has a plus-arm.

“We’re ultimately gonna try to capitalize on his athleticism, give him some reps out in center field, but also make sure he’s getting reps at third base, as far as versatility is concerned.”

Baumeister, a draft-eligible sophomore, compiled a 5.23 ERA in 34 games with the Seminoles. The 21-year-old boasts a 93-98 mph fastball that “comes with tremendous extension and a flat approach angle that all help the pitch play above its velocity,” according to Baseball America.

“I think the thing that really made us intrigued with Jackson is how the fastball plays,” Ciolek said. “We think that we can maximize his arsenal by having him pitch further up in the zone with his fastball.”

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Baumeister, who struck out 12.4 batters per nine innings in 2023, also throws a curveball, changeup and slider.

“He also has a complete repertoire as far as a starting pitcher is concerned,” Ciolek said. “A sweepy slider that is conducive to getting chases for right-handed hitters. [His] curveball is a little bit of a softer breaker, but we think we can add some velocity to improve that. And we’re gonna also look to up his repetition of his changeup.”

Coming into the night, Elias had never drafted a pitcher with a first-, second- or competitive-balance-round pick.

Baltimore began the night by drafting Bradfield with the No. 17 overall pick. The 21-year-old put up prolific stolen base numbers at Vanderbilt and projects to be an impact defender, according to Baseball America.

The assigned slot value of the 53rd pick is $1.58 million. For the 63rd pick, it is $1.24 million.

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The draft resumes with Rounds 3-10 at 2 p.m. Monday, followed by Rounds 11-20 Tuesday.

paul.mancano@thebaltimorebanner.com

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