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Reimold drafted in 2nd by Orioles

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The Nolan Reimold debate is over.

After speculation all season about where

Reimold, a Bowling Green State University outfielder, would be drafted, the best of possible scenarios played out yesterday. The Baltimore Orioles selected Reimold in the second round of the first-year player draft with the 61st pick.

Reimold, the 2005 Mid-American Conference player of the year, is the highest Falcons position player ever drafted. Three BGSU pitchers have been taken earlier, but Reimold is the highest draftee for the Falcons in 20 years.

"I'm happy, excited, relieved," Reimold said.

A midseason slump had dropped him out of the top 200 prospects as determined by the publication Baseball America, but Reimold used a strong week of workouts in Baltimore, Boston and Cleveland to secure his place in the top three rounds.

Last week Reimold, 6-foot-4, 205 pounds, worked out at Camden Yards, the Orioles' ballpark, and soon after the local Orioles scout called BGSU assistant coach Tod Brown to tell him of the team's high impressions.

Last summer Reimold had 13 home runs and 46 RBI in a wooden-bat league in Hays, Kan. With BGSU in 2005, Reimold batted .360 with 20 home runs and 62 RBI. BGSU coach Danny Schmitz called Reimold "one of the best players to come through the program.

"He has the potential to be a five-tool player," Schmitz said. "We're really excited for him and his family. It says a lot for the conference, too - it's pretty amazing how many picks are taken from the MAC."

Yesterday Reimold waited for news at his home in Greenville, Pa., with family and friends. They listened to the draft on the radio via the Internet, but a slow connection caused some of the words to be garbled. Someone thought Reimold's name was mentioned, though, and a few minutes later he received a call.

"They've got a really good team this year," Reimold said of the 35-22 Orioles. "I'm looking to play hard and try to get noticed."

Reimold will learn where to report after he and agent Mike Zimmerman negotiate his contract. Last year's 61st pick, Anthony Swarzak of the Twins, received a $575,000 signing bonus.

Reimold said if he had been drafted later than the fifth round he likely would have stayed for his senior season at BGSU.

"It's exciting and it's sad at the same time," Reimold said. "I'll miss everybody at BG. I'm looking forward to the new challenge ahead."

Several other local players were drafted yesterday.

Pitcher Justin Thomas from Oregon Clay went in the fourth round, No. 113 to the Seattle Mariners. Thomas is a 6-foot-3, 220-pound left-hander from Youngstown State.

"He's going to keep getting better and better," Youngstown State coach Mike Florak said. "He's got a very good fastball and slider, but what separates him is his competitiveness. He does whatever it takes to win."

Former Blissfield teammates Paul Phillips and Derek Feldkamp were drafted in the ninth round. Both right-handed pitchers, Phillips, formerly of Oakland University went No. 266 to the Toronto Blue Jays and Feldkamp, of the University of Michigan, was picked No. 268 by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

The draft continues today.

Contact Maureen Fulton at:

mfulton@theblade.com

or 419-724-6160.

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