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Plant's Givens a second-round pick; former Pasco standout drafted by Mets

Mychal Givens says hearing his name called by the Orioles was a relief, and the team’s scouting department said drafting the Plant standout was “a no-brainer.”

BRIAN CASSELLA | Times

Mychal Givens says hearing his name called by the Orioles was a relief, and the team’s scouting department said drafting the Plant standout was “a no-brainer.”

TAMPA — When the Baltimore Orioles saw that Mychal Givens had slipped into the second round of Tuesday's opening rounds of the MLB Draft, the choice was easy.

"A no-brainer," Orioles director of amateur scouting Joe Jordan told the Baltimore Sun. "That's how we viewed it. It was a really good pick for us in the second round.

"It would not have shocked me if somebody took him at the back of the first round. That was value for us."

So with the fifth pick in the second round — the 54th selection overall — Baltimore selected Givens, ending weeks of speculation as to where the bay area's top prospect would land and possibly finding its shortstop of the future.

"It was tough waiting it out," Givens said. "I fell off the map in the first round and didn't go in the sandwich round. But when I saw the Orioles come up in the second round, I had a feeling they might take me.

"They stuck with me," he added. "I'm proud to be an Oriole."

The summer before his senior year, Givens was one of the top high school prospects in the country. He won the 2008 Jackie Robinson Award, given to the country's top rising high school senior. He was also the MVP of the Under Armour All-American Game and played in the Aflac All-American Game, the top showcase games for players entering their senior season.

Entering the draft, however, Givens was ranked just the 46th-best prospect by Baseball America.

"It's a relief," Givens said. "I've been working hard for a long time with the dream of becoming a major-league ballplayer. Now it's just a job and I'm going to do what I've been doing ever since I started playing ball."

Givens led the Panthers to their first state tournament appearance since 2004, going 8-4 with a 1.71 ERA and 113 strikeouts in 78 innings. He also led the Panthers with a .374 average, four homers and 31 RBIs.

The Orioles plan to develop him as a shortstop, the position his high school coach, Dennis Braun, said he preferred to play as a pro.

"He threw 96, 97 off the mound," Jordan said, "but because of the position he plays, (shortstop) is something we'll definitely try first and we'll see what happens."

Even though one of the knocks on Givens was how his bat would adapt to the pro game, the Orioles say they believe he will hit well and develop power.

"We think there is potential for both," Jordan said.

Mets take former Pasco standout

Former Pasco High power-hitting shortstop Robbie Shields, who recently finished his junior season at Division II Florida Southern, was taken by the New York Mets in the third round of the first-year player draft.

Shields, the 103rd overall selection, hit .329 with 22 home runs and 122 RBIs in three seasons with the Mocs. This past year, he hit .345 with five homers and 37 RBIs.

"I don't even know how to explain it," said Shields, who followed the draft online with family and friends from Cape Cod, where he had planned to play a little summer ball. "Sixteen years of hard work paid off. When my name got called, I just dropped my head and was excited. I thanked the Lord."

Joey Knight, Times staff writer

Plant's Givens a second-round pick; former Pasco standout drafted by Mets 06/09/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 10, 2009 12:22am]
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