Beaird excited about opportunity to play for Orioles

Douglas Fritz • Jun 7, 2018 at 7:02 PM

Less than a week after a tough loss ended Matthew Beaird’s college baseball career, his playing days began anew.

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.”

More baseball

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.”

Where next?

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.”

Major-league dreams

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.”

Looking back

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.

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