Saint Joseph's Jimmy Yacabonis set a single-season program record for saves this year, and the junior closer will now have a chance to sign a professional baseball contract, as the Orioles selected him with their 13th-round pick in the First-Year Player Draft.
The 6-foot-3 right-hander went 1-2 with a 2.02 ERA and 10 saves in 26 appearances out of the bullpen. He struck out 48 batters and walked 21 in 35 2/3 innings pitched.
Yacabonis did not allow a home run in 126 at-bats, and opponents hit just .183 off him. The closer was named to the All-Big 5 Team and the Atlantic 10 All-Conference Second Team.
He grew up in Matawan, N.J., and attended Christian Brothers Academy High School. His grandfather played baseball professionally in Cuba.
O's open Day 3 of Draft with two-way player
The Orioles selected Steven Brault to open Day 3 of the First-Year Player Draft. Brault was a great two-way player for Regis in his junior season. He finished the year with a 2.63 ERA on the mound, and opponents hit .241 off him. He went 8-3 and struck out 103 batters in 78 2/3 innings.
Brault, who is listed at 6-foot-1 and 170 pounds, also played outfield for Regis, where he hit .397/.416/.554 with 37 RBIs and 10 stolen bases in 199 plate appearances.
He is the first player in Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference history to be named First Team All-RMAC as both an outfielder and a starting pitcher.
He also earned Third Team All-America honors as an outfielder, as voted on by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. In his decorated career, he also won RMAC freshman of the year his first season at Regis.
He grew up in El Cajon, Calif., and attended Grossmont High School.
Orioles take juco reliever in 12th round
Scouts had a hard time seeing Jake Bray, a junior college reliever who doubled as a third baseman. Bray moved from Jacksonville State to Feather River College (Calif.) for the 2013 season. But having selected the right-handed reliever in the 12th round of the First-Year Player Draft, the Orioles might have caught a glimpse of his low-90s fastball that can touch the mid-90s, as well as his excellent slider.
That is enough for him to work out of a bullpen, but Bray is athletic and has at least a feel for a changeup, so he could get an opportunity to start, at least at the outset of his pro career.
He hit .368 with 14 doubles, two triples, two home runs, 22 RBIs and six stolen bases last season, leading his team to the Final Four with a 29-14 record.
Yastrzemski's grandson picked by Orioles
Outfielder Mike Yastrzemski may be the grandson of Red Sox Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski, but the Vanderbilt product has carved out a great amateur career of his own. The Orioles selected him in the 14th round (429th overall) in the First-Year Player Draft on Saturday.
Expectations have always been high for Yastrzemski, who was named to the All-SEC and All-Defensive teams this year for the Commodores, who advanced to the SEC Tournament championship game this season.
Yastrzemski may not belong in grandfather Carl's category of elite player, but scouts say he is still a good prospect in his own right. He had a breakout senior year this season, showing a great feel for hitting and baserunning.
"We like him. He's a legitimate prospect in his own right," Orioles scouting director Gary Rajsich said. "Yes, he has a famous name, but he really is a good ballplayer. He's got good instincts for the game, he's got tools, he's really a good hitter. He has an advanced approach to playing the game. In his own right, he is a prospect."
He started 192 straight games in his career at Vanderbilt, helping his college team advance to the College World Series in 2011 and the Regional level last year. Through 63 games (all starts), he hit .322 with a .466 slugging percentage and a .415 on-base percentage.
Yastrzemski hit three homers, drove in 43 home runs and went 19-for-26 in stolen-base opportunities. Scouts say that power is not part of his game, and some question whether he has the range to play center field at the next level.
But Yastrzemski's defensive prowess and potential at the plate -- also his pedigree surely does not hurt -- was what drew attention to him leading into this year's Draft.
"I think we got him right where he should have gone," Rajsich said. "We were happy he was there so we could select him."
It's also worth noting that for a year at Vanderbilt, Yastrzemski was roommates with Regan Flaherty, the younger brother of Orioles second baseman Ryan Flaherty.
High schooler taken by O's in 15th round
The Orioles made Mater Dei High School (IN) shortstop Tyler Walsh their 15th-round selection Saturday.
He batted leadoff and hit .325 with 30 runs and 22 RBIs last year in his junior season as Mater Dei took second place in the Class 2A state tournament. He also swiped 24 bases in 25 attempts that season.
Walsh also played basketball at Mater Dei, where the 6-foot-5 forward was selected as a Second Team All-Conference player and as a Top-100 underclassman in Indiana.
The middle infielder is committed to Division I Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. Perhaps coincidentally, Belmont is right down the street from Vanderbilt, where the Orioles' 14th-round pick, Mike Yastrzemski, played baseball.
Derek Wetmore is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.