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2020 MLB Draft: Orioles select Ole Miss shortstop Anthony Servideo with the No. 74 pick

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The Birds got a good one, Tony’s the real deal.

Josh McCoy-Ole Miss Athletics

With the No. 74 overall pick in the 2020 MLB Draft, the Baltimore Orioles select Ole Miss shortstop Anthony Servideo.

Background:

Servideo, a 5-foot-10, 175-pound shortstop from Jupiter, Fla., played a little bit of everywhere in his first two years in Oxford. He found a permanent home at his natural position in his (abbreviated) junior season after Grae Kessinger was chosen in the second round by the Houston Astros and took the spotlight head-on.

As a freshman, his bat was slow to take to collegiate pitching, but Servideo was named to the 2018 All-SEC Second Team after he played in 34 games and made 12 starts at second base and three at shortstop. When Kessinger was injured before the SEC Championship, Servideo stepped in and started in his place. Though he didn’t do much at the dish, he dazzled with his defense on multiple occasions.

As a sophomore, his appearances nearly doubled and Servideo saw action in 66 games with 38 starts in right field, 20 at second base and two in center field. On first look, his .287 batting average may not standout as wildly impressive, but with No. 3, it was less about average and more about runs on the board. Servideo scored 62 runs as a junior and drove in an additional 26. When he got on base, he was lethal and swiped a team-high 24 bags.

When 2020 rolled around, Servideo was a brand new man. Not only was he sporting the traditional Ole Miss shortstop bleached locks, but he could not stop raking.

The Blonde Bomber was hitting .390 with (a career-high) five home runs and three two-baggers when the season was cut short after 17 games. He scored a nation’s fourth best 24 runs and swindled nine stolen bases on 10 attempts. It got to the point where Servideo was hitting so well that come the end of weekend series, pitchers stopped throwing to him. He led the SEC and finished second in the nation in walks drawn, while leading the SEC with a .575 on-base percentage.

To make his 2020 season more impressive, he did this all in the leadoff spot, meaning less runners in front of him to knock in. Talk about productive. He did what he does well consistently and only got better year after year.

What he does well:

Where Servideo really shines is in the field. He played multiple positions in his first two years, which speaks to his versatility, but the move back to shortstop came without a hitch. MLB Pipeline grades him a better defender than Kessinger, a second round pick, if that says anything.

He has quick feet in the gap, great instinct tracking the ball off the bat, great hands both in snagging liners and pop-ups and moving the ball from glove hand to throwing hand, and a strong arm. He slings the pill with some serious zip. Slick is a good adjective.

Servideo’s a right-handed hitter with patience and good eyes. He is confident with his pitch selection, gets his bat through the zone quickly with smooth hands and hips that turn on the ball to reach the point of contact.

Oh, and he’s faster than a hot knife through butter.

Mama there goes that man!!!

Bottom Line:

He may not have as long of frame as his predecessor, but what he lacks in size, he makes up for in pure energy. Servideo is an electric factory.

For a position that is arguably the most valuable in baseball, the upside is infinite on a Baltimore team that is in a serious rebuild and looking for youthful talent. He brings an unmatched x-factor, and backs it up with skills to match.

Whether the blonde locks will stay is to be seen, but with or without them, the dude can play and has a real shot of seeing his name on the Opening Day lineup sooner than later, considering his new team’s recent struggles. Servideo could be a big part in the Os future.