Major League Baseball Draft

'His poise is well beyond his years': Top Orioles pick Grayson Rodriguez thriving early in career

'His poise is well beyond his years': Top Orioles pick Grayson Rodriguez thriving early in career

He has just 12 innings of professional baseball experience to draw from, but Orioles first-round draft pick Grayson Rodriguez can already speak thoughtfully about the difference between the Gulf Coast League and high school.

His mid-90s fastball doesn’t miss as many bats, and while it unquestionably plays, command is more critical. So is the effectiveness of his secondary pitches. It’s been an education for the 18-year-old from Nacogdoches, Texas, but they are lessons he’s embraced.

“It’s definitely challenging,” Rodriguez said Monday at the Ed Smith Stadium complex. “If you miss, hitters will make you pay for it. You’ve just got to be really careful. Unlike high school, where...

72°