Notre Dame junior righthander Pat Connaughton, an Arlington native and former St. John's Prep two-sport star, was selected this afternoon by the Baltimore Orioles in the fourth round, 121st overall, of the Major League Baseball Draft.
The 6-foot-3 Connaughton was the recipient of ESPN Boston's inaugural "Mr. Basketball" award as the state of Massachusetts' top overall player. He was also one of the first of less than a dozen athletes to make one of ESPN Boston's annual All-State Teams in two different sports, making the "Super Team" portion in basketball (2010-11) and baseball (2011) as a senior at Prep.
This is the second time Connaughton, who also plays basketball at Notre Dame, has been drafted. He was also selected in the 38th round by the San Diego Padres back in 2011.
"It feels tremendous. That was my goal going into the whole thing, go to college and play both sports thing, and it feels that much better that I rose about 33 rounds," Connaughton said.
With the selection, he is the third member of the 2011 high school class from Massachusetts to be drafted twice. Auburn native and former Lawrence Academy star Tyler Beede (2011 - 21st overall, Blue Jays) was taken 14th overall last night by the San Francisco Giants. Former Lincoln-Sudbury star Adam Ravenelle (2011 - 44th round, New York Yankees) was taken nine picks after Connaughton by the Detroit Tigers.
A fourth draftee from that 2011 class, Boston College lefthander and BB&N grad Andrew Chin (2011 - 5th round, Toronto Blue Jays), is still on the board.
"I think it was really special. I don't think people realized it at the time, but I think it shows now," Connaughton said of the 2011 class. "I'm very good friends with those kids [Beede and Ravenelle], and I made sure to text and tweet both. I'm excited for the three of us to start a journey against each other going forward."
As for his future, Connaughton remains firm that he will return to South Bend for his senior year.
"I'm pretty sure I made it clear that I was coming back for my senior year of basektball," he said. "That was going to be the deal with the team when they drafted me, but I think both parties in this situation are on the same page."
Connaughton conceded that being so public with those sentiments may have hurt his draft stock, but it didn't matter to him.
"I think that has something to do with that," he said. "I didn't have the year on the field that I wanted to. I struggled at times with two sports, but that happens. Me publicly saying that definitely hurt a little bit -- maybe a lotta bit -- but the bottom line is that’s what is best for me. I came to a great university to get my degree, and I'm graduating in December. I committed to playing basketball another year, so that's what I'm gonna roll with."