UTA pitcher Carlos Tavera selected by Baltimore Orioles in 5th round of 2021 MLB Draft

Junior pitcher Carlos Tavera throws the ball during a game against Tarleton State University on Feb. 23 at Globe Life Field in Arlington. 

Traditionally players get a phone call saying that they will be chosen with the round and pick when they get drafted by a team. Oftentimes they get to speak to the head coach or manager and general manager.

That wasn’t the case for pitcher Carlos Tavera, who was selected by the Baltimore Orioles with the 137th pick in the fifth round of the 2021 MLB Draft that took place on Monday.

“I didn’t get a call from them, I just heard my name on TV,” Tavera said. “It was just all a shock, for sure.”

Tavera didn’t expect to get drafted by the Orioles and was unsure if he was going to be drafted Monday.

“My agent said he expected me to go later today, if not, for sure tomorrow,” he said.

Moments later Tavera got a text from his agent saying the Orioles sent an offer, but he wasn’t sure if it was from Baltimore’s draft room because the text was from an area scout.

“We didn’t even know the Orioles pick was coming,” Tavera said. “We were watching and we were talking, and my sister heard my name called, and I was like ‘No, wasn’t me,’ and then my name popped up on the screen.”

At that moment Tavera and his family started jumping with joy.

“I’m just ecstatic. It’s all surreal to me right now, it’s just an unreal feeling,” he said.

During his time as a Maverick, Tavera proved to be a leader in the clubhouse and on the mound. In his final season with UTA, he set the program record for strikeouts by striking out 117 batters and earned First Team All-Sun Belt and Second Team ABCA All-Region.

“He’s definitely earned it by his performance on the field,” said Darin Thomas, UTA baseball head coach. Thomas isn’t the only one that feels that way toward the former Maverick; former teammates are also proud of Tavera.

Former Maverick shortstop Josh Minjarez took to Twitter to congratulate Tavera, saying, “Nobody deserves it more! Proud of you kid.”

Former Mavericks catcher Sam Gotlieb said in a Twitter post, “So proud of my brother! One of the best competitors I’ve ever played with. Cannot wait to see this guy pitch in the big leagues one day!”

Even with the accolades that Tavera achieved during his time at UTA, the willingness to improve is still there, and that's what the Orioles are getting, Tavera said.

“I had a good college career, but I wasn’t satisfied with it,” he said. “There’s a lot of things I need to work on, and there’s places I want to be, and I won't stop working till I get there.”

Tavera is the eighth player to be drafted in the top five rounds of the MLB Draft during Thomas’ era and the 40th overall player selected during that time.

“I just want to thank UTA and coach Thomas, and all the coaching staff that was there before and that are there now for everything they’ve done for me,” he said.

@JayRod003

news-editor.shorthorn@uta.edu

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