MLB Draft extends the career of Oriole hopefuls
By Matthew Taylor
I learned recently that one of my co-workers played a stint in the minor leagues after graduating college. I’m a baseball fan, so the revelation intrigued me. I was fascinated by the idea of a guy chasing his dream long after others had given up theirs. Stats didn’t matter; I just wanted to know the guy’s story.
One thousand four hundred and fifty-three young men assumed the role of Moonlight Graham following this week’s MLB Draft. Like my co-worker, they have the chance to pursue their dream a little longer than most. Here’s how the story begins for some of the O’s 2007 draft picks.
Jason White, University of Iowa, has a proud father.
“There weren’t too many Orioles hats at the shop in the mall, so my wife told them they better get some more,” Jeff White said. “A local boy getting to play professional baseball. That’s pretty special.”
Joe Mahoney, University of Richmond, sees a clear path to the majors.
Mahoney, who is 6-7 and 255 pounds, led Richmond with 17 homers and 62 runs batted in this season. He said he likes his chances for advancement in the Orioles system because “they don’t have a steady first baseman in the majors right now and they don’t have any big prospects coming up.”
Matt Angle, (The) Ohio State University, is following in Nick Swisher’s footsteps.
“It’s an exciting time,” said Angle. “It is something that you work for and it has always been a goal of mine. It is a stepping stone. The goal wasn’t to just get drafted, but to get drafted, move up through the minor league system and make it to the next level. Ohio State has a great history of players getting drafted and even making it to the next level with players like Nick Swisher. I would also like to thank Coach (Bob) Todd and the coaching staff for giving me the opportunity to play at OSU and for helping me advance my baseball skills.”
Justin Moore, Chancellor High School, is young, eager, and confident.
“I knew they were going to take me. I wasn’t surprised by that,” Moore said. “I just didn’t know what round it would be.”
“It was exciting. I was happy,” Moore said. “Now it all starts.”
“I want to make it to Single-A real quick,” Moore said. “I don’t want to stay in rookie ball that long.”
Eryk McConnell, NC State, simply wants an opportunity.
“It’s just a dream – always something that I wanted to do,” McConnell said. “It’s something that I’ve been striving for since I was little. Now that I have a chance I want to take advantage of it and see where it goes from there.”