Before the start of the Major League Baseball Draft, Newport Harbor High Coach Evan Chalmers received a call from a scout on Connor Seabold. Chalmers doesn't remember the scout's name, just the questions the scout asked about Seabold's character and work ethic.
The scout was from the Baltimore Orioles and he was the only scout to contact Chalmers this week.
Seabold passed with flying colors. The Orioles selected the senior right-handed pitcher with the 571st pick in the 19th round during the third day of the MLB First-Year Player Draft on Saturday.
Seabold, who went 4-7 with a 3.50 earned-run average and 72 strikeouts in 60 innings, is the first player drafted during Chalmers' five years as Newport Harbor's coach.
"He's a great kid," Chalmers said he relayed to the scout, who spent half an hour inquiring about Seabold. "In my opinion, Connor has a tremendous work ethic. He would lose his temper a little bit, but that was a good sign. It showed that he cared a lot. He was a competitor and he wanted to do well for his team."
It is fitting that on the day Seabold learned of his draft status the 6-foot-2, 170-pounder was on a baseball field.
Seabold was warming up with the Orange County Giants, a Connie Mack team, at Orange Coast College before noon, when his cell rang in the dugout. He missed the call, and it went to voice mail. When he heard the message, left by Orioles scout Mark Ralston, it blew Seabold away.
"He asked me if I would want to sign," said Seabold, who called Ralston back to learn more. "It was kind of surreal."
Seabold and his mother, Erin Brown, said they would meet with Ralston in a couple of days to decide whether Seabold will sign with the Orioles or play baseball at Cal State Fullerton.
"Having Cal State Fullerton as a backup is good," said Brown, who was proud of her son, a first-team All-Sunset League pick. "Cal State Fullerton is going to have a strong team next season."
Seabold also starred in center field for Newport Harbor. He led the Sailors to the CIF Southern Section Division 1 playoffs and with a .424 batting average, a .473 on-base percentage, a .482 slugging percentage, 20 runs, 13 walks, and shared the top spot with five doubles.
Brown said the Orioles called early Friday morning, saying they were really interested in Seabold, who throws in the low-90s. She added that there was a good chance her son could've gone on the second day, between rounds six through 10.
Waiting an extra day didn't hurt. Seabold got drafted, then pitched, and later attended prom, all on the same day.
Four other locals taken on third day
Other locals drafted on the third day, rounds 11 through 40, featured UC Irvine junior shortstop Chris Rabago in the 13th round (No. 383) to the Colorado Rockies; former Orange Coast College right-handed pitcher Keegan Yuhl in the 35th round (No. 1,036) to the Houston Astros; OCC junior left-handed pitcher Jacob Hill in the 40th round (No. 1,204) to the Washington Nationals; and UCI right-handed pitcher Sam Moore in the 40th round (No. 1,209) to the Los Angeles Dodgers.