McLarty selected in MLB Draft

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By Sam Draut

From a Little League hero to a high school star to a college standout, playing professional baseball had always been a dream for Griffin McLarty, but no matter how successful he was, he said he couldn’t predict the moment of becoming a Major League Baseball (MLB) draft pick.

McLarty, a Class of 2016 graduate of Oldham County High School, was selected by the Baltimore Orioles in the eighth round of the MLB Draft Tuesday, June 4.

“The process is something I never took for granted, which I’m thankful for because I took each step slowly,” McLarty said. “I felt like I did everything the right way throughout my years, it finally led me to this point.”

The Orioles drafted McLarty with the 228th pick. The Buckner native was the first pick in the Eighth Round. McLarty features a fastball in the low 90s and a complement of several other pitches including a slider and change up.

The Orioles scout McLarty had been in frequent contact with projects him as a starter.

“He was really praised my fastball command. He always talked about that. That was my number one weapon,” McLarty said. “I had a pretty solid slider offering for a secondary pitch. He liked how I threw a lot of strikes and multiple pitches to throw for strikes to change speeds.”

McLarty was with his family in their house in Oldham County when the Orioles called during the second day of the MLB Draft to confirm their intentions of selecting him with the first pick in the eighth round.

With his family more nervous than him, he waited to see his name flash across the television screen after the phone call.

“I normally stay pretty calm with that stuff,” McLarty said. “They were overly excited. They couldn’t believe all the great things that happened with me.”

During his junior year at College of Charleston this spring, McLarty had an 8-4 record with a 1.87 ERA in 101 innings. The 6-foot-3 right-handed pitcher, who has the option to return for his senior year, said he is 100 percent pursuing a professional career.

The Orioles signing bonus for the first pick in the eighth round is $186,300.

After a sophomore year at College of Charleston with a record of 7-2 and ERA of 3.32 in 76 innings, McLarty was invited to the Cape Cod League during the summer. Following a successful summer, McLarty began to think becoming drafted was a realistic option.

As the number one starter for College of Charleston this spring, McLarty credited his dominant run on the mound during his junior year to an accumulation of experiences.

“I had already had two full seasons as a college player, I had two full summer ball seasons. It was like I had four full seasons as a college player,” McLarty said. “It also just the natural growth as a guy, getting bigger and stronger. Working on pitching every single day, working on pitches and my command.”

McLarty pitched for North Oldham Little League’s all-star team during its run to the Little League World Series in 2011. He helped lead Oldham County to the KHSAA state tournament as a senior in 2016.

When McLarty’s name was announced in the MLB draft, the community that had watched him turn into a baseball star celebrated with McLarty and his family.

“It’s terrific to see being from a smaller community where I feel like everyone has my back,” McLarty said. “It makes me feel a lot better that I have lots great teammates, friends, family friends along the way that have always been there and have enjoyed watching me play.”

The moment of becoming a professional baseball player is no longer a dream, instead, just a part of the process.  

“It’s a stressful day, but in hindsight, it’s beautiful,” McLarty said.