The former Science Hill High School standout was selected in the 36th round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft by the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday.
It was just three days after Coastal Carolina lost 6-5 to Connecticut in the NCAA Regionals.
Beaird, with a major-league arm and professional skill set as a catcher, was expecting to be drafted but he didn’t know when.
“I was hoping to go Day 2, but that didn’t pan out,” said Beaird. “I got a couple of calls on Day 3 from teams who were interested, so I expected to get a call. I was sitting around for hours, and I got the call from the Orioles. I’m excited to get the opportunity to play.”
Beaird has spent a lot of time behind the plate during 2018, and his chores aren’t done yet.
“It has been a long season,” he said. “We’ve been playing since January intrasquad. I have caught a bunch of games. But it’s no big deal. I get to play more baseball, and it’s really exciting.
“It’s an awesome time. I’m very blessed.”
There’s a element of mystery to being selected to play professional baseball. Beaird doesn’t know which minor-league level his career will start.
“The area scout told me I would hear something in the next couple of days,” said Beaird. “I will sign a contract and go play ball somewhere. I think I will get a flight to Florida to sign.”
Pick of teams
It was the Orioles who made the pick, but Beaird said he wasn’t playing favorites.
“It didn’t matter who decided to take a chance on me,” said Beaird, who batted .252 with two homers and 23 RBI this season for the Chanticleers. “As long as I get to play, I would play for anybody.”
Like every player chosen in the draft, Beaird has the big leagues in the back of his mind.
“I think I have a shot,” he said. “I don’t know exactly how the hierarchy of the minor league system works, but I will continue working hard and living out the dream.”
It wasn’t that long ago Beaird was playing at Science Hill, not knowing if he would even get a shot at college baseball.
“Coach (Drew) Thomas saw me in a tournament and gave me a shot,” said Beaird. “I ended up having an awesome time and a great career at Coastal Carolina.”
Beaird said former Coastal standout Tucker Frawley had an impact on his ascent to pro ball.
“He had a huge impact, and he’s a great friend as well,” said Beaird.