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Nolan McLean Returning to Oklahoma State for Junior Season

McLean will hit more dingers in O’Brate in 2023.

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[Devin Wilber/PFB]

Nolan Mclean and the Baltimore Orioles couldn’t come to an agreement after the MLB organization took McLean with a third round pick, and thus, McLean is headed back to Stillwater.

The slot value for McLean’s selection (81st overall) was $794,000, making him the highest unsigned pick in the 2022 MLB Draft.

“I want to thank the Baltimore Orioles for drafting me and giving me a chance to learn more about their organization,” McLean wrote in an Instagram post. “Unfortunately, we were not able to come to an agreement by today’s signing deadline, and I will be heading back to Oklahoma State this fall for my junior year.”

McLean played at third and on the mound for the Cowboys this past season. He hit a team-best 19 home runs to go with his .285 batting average and 47 RBIs. He had six home runs in his last six games of the season. On the mound, McLean had a 4.97 ERA in 23 appearances with 39 strikeouts.

It’s a major boon for the Cowboys, a team that has some rebuilding to do because of all the players it had drafted.

33 Comments

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  1. No guarantee on that, there have been plenty of players who don’t do as well after they return to uni baseball and their draft stock goes down. I would’ve taken the money if I were him but as a fan/alum I’m glad he’s coming back. He started really slow this last season and had to get hot to get his BA up. I remember when he was barely over .200…

  2. Avatar for tai tai says:

    Cowboys were given a big gift with Nolan making a surprise return.
    I don’t expect much from the team next season because of the pitching situation which was already not that great toward the end of last season. And I have been complaining for quite awhile that Rob Walton leaves pitchers in after they are getting clobbered and have nothing left. That doesn’t mean he needs to be let go. It requires the manager to tell him to change his ways.

  3. Nolan is one of my favorite Cowboys and I hope this works out for him in the long run. $794K is a good chunk of money, but I think he can get much more next go around.

  4. Getting to the majors…hes got an “easier” path by going on the mound. An Organization will have around 25 pitchers between the MAJ/AAA rosters, while maybe 4 true 3b. Hes got an upper 90’s FB right now and hes never been a P.O at any point in his career. Most of these scouting dept’s will project him as a P.O. and will know that hes got more MPH in his tank once he strictly goes to the mound. I think him not signing had more to do with him wanting to 2-way and not getting the $$ amount he wanted. I dont know Nolan personally, but Im very close with some guys that do and they say he is the most “confident” dude theyve ever played with. Keep in mind that they say that about a guy who shares the same dugout as Roc Riggio.

  5. @teatown , im not saying that he cant play 3b. Im saying that in my opinion, based on the guys that I talk to that are…shall I say very close to the situation, his ceiling is much higher on the mound than at 3b. From what I can speak of that ive seen for myself is that his velo is ++, his secondary stuff is ++, his mound presence is ++. His command and ability to turn himself from a thrower into a pitcher is what hes lacking right now. You asked why isnt he a front-line guy? Dude, the 4.97 ERA isnt bad at all for a guy pitching in the Big 12 Conf, against guys with metal bats, who really hasnt put much effort into really, truly being a pitcher. My guess is that hes too valuable in the lineup everyday to turn him into a P.O. You sound like youve played a little and you know how hard it is to legitimately 2-way for a guy. The training, throwing routine, practice reps and so on are so different for pitchers than position guys. And I made some phone calls last night and was told from a very reliable source that Nolan wants to play everyday and was told thatd be the case before he came here. Thats why early on he wasnt planned on throwing as many innings as he ended up having to throw. I think hes making a mistake by snubbing the P.O role. But, the kid has tools and loves to play baseball. There are definitely worse things a kid can choose to do than love the sport he plays…just ask AJ Ferrari.

  6. We shall see. It might be that McLean just loves to hit and with that I’m with him 100%. Nothing more fun about baseball than that. Trying to get hitters out can be fun too but if you’re a starter you only getting to play 20% or less of all the games. Let’s see how he does on the mound this next season then give our recommendations to pro scouts, okay, heh heh? Ain’t like they always get it right!

  7. He does a decent job of developing arms when they get here, but there seems to be a problem with attracting them and keeping them here (in addition to the issues with in-game management).

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