The Nationals selected first baseman Ryan Ripken, son of former Orioles great Cal Ripken Jr., in the 15th round (454th overall) of the First-Year Player Draft on Saturday.
Ripken hit .321 with one home run and 24 RBIs in 42 games as a freshman for Indian River State (Fla.) College this past season in the National Junior College Athletic Association.
The 6-foot-6, 230-pound left-handed hitter is a native of Hunt Valley, Md., and played high school baseball at Gilman School in Baltimore.
Ryan Ripken was drafted in the 20th round of the 2012 Draft by the Orioles, but he opted to sign with South Carolina instead. In the spring of 2013, Ripken did not make the Gamecocks' 35-man roster, and he redshirted to salvage a season of eligibility. He ultimately decided to transfer to Indian River State in June of that year.
Cal Ripken played 21 seasons in the Major Leagues, all with the Baltimore Orioles. The shortstop played in 2,632 consecutive games over 16 of those seasons, a record that still stands. Ripken finished his career with a .276 batting average and 431 home runs. He won two American League MVP Awards (1983, '91), an AL Rookie of the Year Award (1982) and two Gold Glove Awards (1991, '92), and he made the All-Star Game in 19 straight seasons from 1982 through 2001.
Manager Matt Williams, who played against Ripken Jr. in the 1990s, thought it was great that Ryan will get a chance to prove himself in the Nationals organization.
"There's immense pressure on that young man," Williams said. "It's too bad, but I think he will handle it real well. Dad, uncle, grandfather. ... Great work ethic. We'll be happy to have him. If he can bring that work ethic to us, it will be nothing but a benefit."