McLean announces return to OSU

Oklahoma State’s Nolan McLean is greeted in the dugout after hitting a home run during a regional game against Missouri State at O’Brate Stadium. (Jason Elmquist, Stillwater News Press)

The highest-selected unsigned player in the 2022 MLB amateur draft is returning to Oklahoma State.

Nolan McLean, a third baseman/right-handed pitcher from Willow Springs, North Carolina, announced his decision Monday to continue playing for the Cowboy baseball team. The Baltimore Orioles selected McLean with the 81st overall pick, or the first pick of the third round, but he did not reach terms with the organization.

Jim Callis, a senior writer for MLB Pipeline, broke the news on Twitter. McLean then shared a statement on Instagram with a photo of himself in an OSU baseball uniform.

“I want to thank the Baltimore Orioles for drafting me and giving me a chance to learn more about their organization,” McLean said in the 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. #UnfinishedBusiness #GoPokes!”

As a sophomore, McLean led the Cowboys with 19 home runs, and his 16 doubles ranked second on the team, trailing only Jake Thompson’s 20. With his swing-for-the-fences approach, McLean posted a .285 batting average and provided 47 RBIs.

On the mound, he recorded a 4.97 ERA. Serving primarily as a closer, McLean finished the season with five saves and a 2-1 record. His 39 strikeouts included a season-high five thrown against Oral Roberts.

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