MLB Draft Day 3 — Baltimore Orioles take 7-foot left-hander Jared Beck, would be MLB’s tallest player ever

LOS ANGELES — The Baltimore Orioles aimed high with their 13th-round draft pick.

A full seven feet — and that’s before their new pitching contestant gets on the mound.

The O’s selected 7-foot lefty Jared Beck from Saint Leo University with the first pick in round 13 of baseball’s amateur draft on Tuesday. If Beck makes it to the majors, he would overtake 6-foot-11 pitchers Sean Hjelle and Jon Rauch as the tallest player in major league history.

Beck hit 105 batters in 68 1/3 innings for Division II Saint Leo this season and posted a 3.95 ERA. He also pitched summer ball for the Savannah Bananas, where he distinguished himself from a minor league club that focused more on wacky entertainment than player development.

The O’s view Beck as more than an oddity, citing a fastball they clocked at 95 mph. Baltimore draft director Brad Ciolek conceded Wednesday that there is work to be done to help Beck deal with his extra-long limbs, and they plan to help him get his breaking ball and substitution as well to enhance.

“Jared is a really interesting case,” Ciolek said. “Obviously he’s a bit of a bigger guy and that could take a bit more I think in terms of delivery and refining his mechanics. But we have faith in our player development staff, our pitching coaches, that they will be able to get the most out of his abilities.”

There have been at least two minor league baseball players taller than Beck at 7-foot-1. Dutch pitcher Loek van Mil played 10 seasons in attached ball, primarily with Minnesota, and Ryan Doherty pitched portions of three seasons in the Arizona system before making the move to professional beach volleyball.

Here are some other notable picks from the third and final day of the draft, which covered Rounds 11-20:

  • RHP Marquis Grissom Jr., Washington: Grissom’s father was a third-round pick by the 1988 Montreal Expos and played six seasons as an outfielder for the club, which moved to Washington in 2005. The younger Grissom was a 13th-round pick for the same franchise after going 4-5 with 57 strikeouts in 61 innings as a starting pitcher at Georgia Tech.

  • 3B Jackson Jaha, New York Mets: Jaha, a 15th-round pick, is the son of former big league slugger John, who played 10 seasons for Milwaukee and Oakland. Jackson is a high school player from Oregon’s Clackamas High School and is involved with the University of Oregon.

  • RHP Caden Dana and OF Casey Dana, Los Angeles Angels: LA chose Caden, a high school pitcher, in the 11th round and his brother Casey, a UConn outfielder, in the 16th round. Caden is committed to Kentucky for college and may need a hefty signing bonus. Finding a job for his brother, who was a fifth-year with the Huskies, could help with those negotiations.

  • RHP Jared Karros, Los Angeles Dodgers: Eric Karros played 12 seasons in Dodger Blue and won 1992 first baseman Rookie of the Year. Jared went to UCLA just like his father, where he had a 3.33 ERA for the Bruins, good enough for the Dodgers to take him in the 16th round.

  • RHP/LHP Jurrangelo Cijntje, Milwaukee: A professional pitcher with both arms, Cijntje can reach 96 mph from the right and 92 mph from the left. The Florida high school player lasted through to the 18th round and could live up to his college stint with Mississippi State. If he decides to sign, he could follow Pat Venditte’s path as a two-handed big league hurler. MLB Draft Day 3 — Baltimore Orioles take 7-foot left-hander Jared Beck, would be MLB’s tallest player ever

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