Tyler Blohm added another prize to an incredible baseball season when he was selected by his hometown Orioles in the 17th round of the Major League Baseball draft on Saturday.
The left-hander, who pitched Archbishop Spalding to its third straight MIAA A Conference championship this spring, will have a difficult decision to make in the coming months since he has already committed to pitch for Maryland.
Blohm, the Capital Gazette Communications Baseball Player of the Year, had a 9-0 record in his senior season. The 6-foot-3, 185 pounder added 103 strikeouts, a 0.74 ERA and a 0.682 WHIP in 66 innings pitched and was recently named the 2016 Maryland Gatorade Player of the Year. He finished his career with 25 wins in four varsity seasons.
"It's a really humbling experience,'' said Blohm, who got a text message and then a phone call about his selection just hours before having to head off for a summer-league game with the Baltimore Redbirds. "It's great to be selected by such a great organization as the Orioles, but I'm not sure yet how to go. I'm going to have a long discussion with my parents.''
Blohm's father Pete knows something about the subject since he played in the the Orioles, Braves, Pirates and Blue Jays systems, reaching as high as Triple-A.
"It's been a crazy couple of days,'' said Blohm, who took a tour of Camden Yards earlier this month to meet Vice President Dan Duquette and manager Buck Showalter. "The Orioles have been first class through the entire process.''
"I know if I got in the Orioles system, I could definitely develop. But I have to make sure I'm physicall and mentally ready for that,'' Blohm said. "I definitely value my education very much.''
Dean Albany, one of the Orioles scouts for the Mid-Atlantic region, said he was impressed with Blohm, the 511th overall selection in the draft.
"The guy really came on this season," said Albany, a standout player at Brooklyn Park High School in the 1980s and an Anne Arundel County Sports Hall of Famer. "He's a lanky kid with an above-average curveball. He was valued as a higher pick, but he has a strong commitment to the University of Maryland. He had a great year, so we figured we'd take a run at him and see where it takes us. If he doesn't sign with us, I'm sure we'll see him again in three years."
Blohm, who won't be eligible to be drafted until after his junior season if he picks college over the pros, is the first player drafted during coach Joe Palumbo's four-year tenure at Archbishop Spalding.
"It's absolutely pretty exciting," Palumbo said. "It's the cherry on top to a very special season for Archbishop Spalding. Having one of our guys drafted by the hometown major league team is pretty cool."
Palumbo has no doubt Blohm, 18, has the tools to succeed either with the Terps or the Orioles.
The coach said Blohm has a fastball that regularly hits the upper 80s and has topped out at 91 mph.
"But the fastball might be his third-best pitch," Palumbo said. "He has a good breaking ball and an outstanding changeup. He's confident, polished and doesn't walk many hitters."
A tough choice awaits Blohm — sign a professional contract with the Orioles or head to the security of college for at least three seasons.
"He has two great options ahead of him," Palumbo said. "He has a big decision to make by the end of July. We are all just happy for him because we know he'll sit down with parents, the folks at Maryland and the folks with the Orioles and make the best decision he can."
Palumbo said whichever way Blohm leans, he'll be a success.
"He's poised to be successful at any level," Palumbo said. "He's a confident young man and that shows."