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Sweet Home Baltimore

Tyler Townsend made himself at home last week at an Orioles pre-draft workout in Camden Yards. LateTyler Tuesday night, Tyler became a Baltimore Oriole after he was selected in the 3rd round (85th overall) by the Orioles.

Tyler became the 3rd highest drafted FIU player in the 37-year history of FIU baseball. Only pitchers Josh Banks (2nd round to the Blue Jays in 2003) and Tom Corcoran (3rd round - 61st pick - to the Tigers in 1981) have been selected higher than TT. 

Reached Tyler at home in Lewes, Delaware earlier today and here's what he had to say:

So what's it like to not only be the 3rd highest drafted player in FIU history, but to be picked by your hometown major league team?

TT: I don't know if it has hit me yet. I'm really excited to get started. Everyone around here my family and friends have always been big Orioles fans.

Os Judging by your previous answer, sounds like you're ready to start pro ball and bypass your final season at FIU?

TT: I would say there is a 1 percent chance I'm staying, but a 99 percent chance I'm going to pro ball. I think I'm ready to start my career. I got my agent working on my contract and hopefully he can get that done by this weekend. I'm trying to start as quick as possible.

Although you weren't the highest picked FIU player, you were the highest college player drafted south of Gainesville in this draft. Considering the college talent in the state of Florida, what do you think of that?

TT: It's just a great honor to be picked up at all, but to go that high among all the great college players in Florida is unbelievable. I'm just trying to take it in.

What do you think was the biggest reason for your record-setting season at FIU in 2009? (TT set the single-season and career RBI marks and total bases record)

TT: I put in a lot of hard work from last year to this year. Having a good summer (TT was the MVP of his summer league) also helped and it all paid off. Then I went to the Orioles pre-draft workout and that helped too.

What happened in Camden Yards last week?Oriolepark

TT: The Orioles told me they really liked me and then again after the workout. I did really well fielding balls in the outfield, even though I was drafted as a first baseman. I ran well and I hit a couple of balls out to center field and right field.

Did any of your home runs hit Boog's Bar-BQ out behind the center field seats in Camden Yards?

TT: No, but I came close. I've hit home runs out in Camden Yards when I was in high school playing for an Orioles-sponsored travel team.

Once you sign where will the Orioles assign you?

Ab TT: I'm going to start in short season with the Aberdeen IronBirds and then I hope to be in low Class A ball by the end of the year.

Do you have a timetable for when you want to get to the big leagues?

TT: Not really, just getting there anytime would be great.

FIU had 2 other players taken on the second day of the draft: junior pitcher Tom Ebert (thanks, Alex J. Hernandez photo) andEbert Bosox incoming outfielder Josh Garton.

Ebert was taken in the 19th round by the Red Sox and Garton in the 12th round by the Reds.

Talking with TE during the final weekend series against the Hooters last month, he said that the Red Sox and Marlins were the two most interested teams in him. TE also said he would like to finish his pre-med degree and that it would take something special to lure him to pro ball after his junior season. Heard the Red Sox are making a special offer to TE and he might have thrown his last pitch at FIU.

Garton, who played at Volunteer State JUCO last season, is expected to sign with Cincinnati.

Day 2 of the draft is complete with the final round on Thursday. So who is the next FIU player to get a call from 1 of 30 major league teams?


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