June 6, 2014
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - University of Notre Dame junior RHP Pat Connaughton didn't have to wait long into day two of the 2014 Major League Baseball Draft to hear his name called as the Arlington, Mass., native was selected in the fourth round (121st pick) by the Baltimore Orioles Friday afternoon.
With the fourth round selection, Connaughton becomes the highest drafted Irish pitcher since RHP Kyle Weiland went in the third round in 2008. He is also the third Notre Dame player to be drafted in the top five rounds in two years, joining 2013 draftees Eric Jagielo (first round) and RHP Dan Slania (fifth round).
The two-sport star (basketball, baseball) is the fourth Irish baseball player in recent memory to get drafted in one sport after playing two at Notre Dame joining RHP Jeff Samardzija (football, baseball), OF Golden Tate (football, baseball) and INF Evan Sharpley (football, baseball).
Since Notre Dame head coach Mik Aoki and pitching coach Chuck Ristano came aboard in 2010, nine Irish pitchers have been drafted by the MLB.
Friday's selection marks the second time Connaughton has heard his named called in the MLB Draft as he was also picked in the 38th round (pick 1,163) of the 2011 draft by the San Diego Padres following his high school graduation from St. John's Prep.
"It's a dream come true to be able to play at a place like Notre Dame and have it pay off," said Connaughton. "When I saw my name I was surprised and excited all at the same time. I was pumped that it's an East Coast team and a great organization to learn and develop in."
As a junior, Connaughton showed an ability to be an innings eater as he hurled the first two complete games of his career in addition to going at least 6.2 innings in each of his final six starts. As a comparison, Connaughton went 6.2 innings or more just twice in his first 26 career outings.
Connaughton set career highs in innings pitched (9.0) and batters faced (35) in a win over Boston College April 12, and notched a career-high eight strikeouts in a tough late-game loss at then-No. 11 Miami April 21.
He finished the campaign with a 3-5 record and 3.92 ERA in a career-high 62.0 innings of work. Batters hit just .235 against him compared to .276 as a freshman and .272 as a sophomore.
His three-year career saw him go 11-11 with a solid 3.03 ERA in 30 starts (32 appearances) and 154.2 innings.
The 2014 MLB Draft continues through round 10 Friday and concludes with rounds 11-40 at 1 p.m. Saturday.
Irish Players Drafted Under Head Coach Mik Aoki
Brian Dupra, RHP, Jr. (Detroit Tigers, 11th Round)
Evan Danieli, RHP, Jr. (Atlanta Braves, 24th Round)
Steven Mazur, RHP, Sr. (Baltimore Orioles, 33rd Round)
William Harford, C, Sr. (Cincinnati Reds, 45th Round)
Golden Tate, OF, San Francisco Giants, 50th Round)
Brian Dupra, RHP, Sr. (Washington Nationals, 7th Round)
Cole Johnson, RHP, Sr. (Minnesota Twins, 44th Round)
Matt Scioscia, C, Sr. (Anaheim Angels, 45th Round)
Joe Hudson, C, Sr. (Cincinnati Reds, 6th Round)
Will Hudgins, RHP, Sr. (Washington Nationals, 22nd Round)
Steve Sabatino, LHP, Sr. (St. Louis Cardinals, 26th Round)
Eric Jagielo, 3B, Jr. (New York Yankees, 1st Round)
Dan Slania, RHP, Jr. (San Francisco Giants, 5th Round)
Trey Mancini, 1B, Jr. (Baltimore Orioles, 8th Round)
Charlie Markson, OF, Sr. (Milwaukee Brewers, 38th Round)
Pat Connaughton, RHP, Jr. (Baltimore Orioles, 4th Round)
--Russell Dorn, Assistant Media Relations Director