Amid a state so rich in baseball talent, it did not take long for the first Texas high school players to go off the board during Monday night’s first round of the MLB Amateur Draft. And two were taken back-to-back, as American League East rivals looked to the Lone Star State for their respective selections.
When the Baltimore Orioles selected Central Heights (Nacogdoches) right-handed pitcher Grayson Rodriguez with No. 11 overall pick, that marked the first prep selection of the night from Texas.
Then, with the No. 12 pick, the Toronto Blue Jays took Magnolia (Texas) third baseman Jordan Groshans.
In recent mock drafts, Rodriguez was projected to go 13th by ESPN and 31st by Baseball America. A Texas A&M commit, the 6-foot-5, 230-pound Rodriguez went to the O’s earlier than many expected.
The 6-foot-4, 190-pound Groshans, meanwhile, was projected to go 18th by ESPN and 29th by Baseball America. The Blue Jays obviously thought higher of Groshans, a Kansas commit, than the projections.