The Orioles draft Hockaday, Butler
Seniors KJ Hockaday and Brendan Butler have hit the ultimate home run.
The Orioles have drafted Hockaday and Butler in the 14th and 50th round, respectively. According to Hockaday, he has been drafted as a third baseman, though his “power as a hitter” is favored by the team as well. According to Butler, he has been drafted as a third and first baseman, as well as an outfielder.
According to science teacher and Assistant Athletic Director Tim Perry, Hockaday and Butler traveled to Virginia to participate in tryouts. They competed against players in double A and triple A baseball, which are two classifications of baseball that contain players contending to play in major league teams.
“[It’s] a common practice with major league baseball teams,” Perry said.
According to Perry, Hockaday and Butler found out about the draft decision on Tuesday, June 7 and Wednesday, June 8.
“I heard the news on the way to my game for my summer team The Youse’s Orioles, and I was [also] informed [about it] by my advisor Jeff Randazzo,” Hockaday said.
Butler received a call from The Orioles, informing him of their decision.
“It’s a tremendous feeling [to be drafted into the Orioles]. It’s always been a dream since I’ve been three years old to be an Oriole,” Hockaday said.
“I feel honored to be drafted by the Orioles. I have to continue to work hard from here on out. I couldn’t have done it without my family or my coaches. Coach Joe Stetka has been not only a great coach but also a great mentor. Also, it feels amazing knowing KJ and I both got drafted by the Orioles because we have been playing with and against each other since we were seven years old,” Butler said.
“I watched him [Hockaday] grow up on the baseball fields across from my house in Joppatowne…it was fun to watch…He was really dedicated and his father really helped him along the way,” Perry said.
“It couldn’t have happened to a better kid than KJ and his family. They’re just tremendous people,” coach Joe Stetka told the Bel Air Patch. “There’s a lot of excitement going on in Joppatowne tonight.”
Stetka was unavailable to give comments to The Patriot at this time.
“I think that if you’re a coach of any sport…for a player to advance to the next level, you would feel good for them and for you as a coach,” Perry said.
Perry coached Butler for a year in football. According to Perry, Butler decided to dedicate himself to baseball after he found out he could no longer play football due to an injury.
As for future plans, Hockaday and Butler plan to stick with college for now.
“As of right now, I’m still a Terp but at the end of the season, The Orioles and I will try to come to a reasonable agreement,” Hockaday said. Hockaday will be attending college at The University of Maryland.
“The Orioles will be watching me play this summer and I have until the end [of summer] to make a decision. But I am looking forward to playing at Towson University. I have to wait three more years until I am eligible for the draft again because of NCAA rules,” Butler said.
Grace Kim is a Managing Editor for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.