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Charles Porter, Orioles' 35th-round pick, an intriguing selection

One of the more interesting draft picks the Orioles made this week was their 35th rounder, Charles Porter, who is a 6-foot-3, 185-pound left-handed pitcher from Miami.

He is listed as having no school on the official draft paperwork.

So that, in itself, piqued interest.

And his story goes a little deeper. He apparently gave up baseball for a while and went into mixed martial arts. A Google search shows that he was 0-2 in that pursuit.

So how did the Orioles find him?

Well, scouting director Gary Rajsich said Porter at one point had enrolled at Miami Dade College, a junior college, but never played baseball there.

Apparently this year he had injured himself and was working out at a rehab center where some baseball players – non-Oriole guys -- were also rehabbing.

“It’s an interesting story,” Rajsich said. “He hurt himself somehow and he was rehabbing with some ballplayers and he was talking about baseball and said, ‘I pitched in high school.’”

Apparently, his interest was rekindled from that conversation with the players, Rajsich said, and since he had known Orioles scout Juan Alvarez previously, he asked for a tryout.

“And, actually, he was not bad,” Rajsich said. “He’s 6-foot-3, left-handed. He’s got the makings of three pitches. We’ll see how far he goes.”

Rajsich said his fastball reached 89 mph and “that was just put your shoes on, grab a glove and let’s take a look.”

Who knows if he’ll ever get out of instructional league? But, hey, it’s a pretty cool story for round 35.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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