Orioles scout Ty Brown wrote himself a note after watching Andy Schindling play shortstop for St. John's this past spring. Schindling was a second-team All-Met shortstop and had committed to play that position for George Mason University this fall.

Brown's note read, "See as pitcher."

The Orioles took Brown's advice and after two brief tryouts as a pitcher drafted Schindling in the 16th round of the first-year player draft on June 8.

Schindling, 17, currently is a right-handed relief pitcher for the Bluefield (W.Va.) Orioles in the rookie Appalachian League. He has thrown three innings so far, but the organization seems excited for his future.

"His arm just moves so easily," Brown said. "He has tremendous poise and maturity, especially given his inexperience and his age."

Schindling pitched 12 innings in relief for St. John's this past year, though Brown did not attend any of those games.

Brown did, however, know St. John's pitching coach Pat McNair. And it was on McNair's recommendation that Schindling was invited to a tryout for prospective draft picks at Prince George's Stadium a few days before the draft.

Schindling threw nine pitches, all around 88-89 mph. That was enough for him to be invited to a workout at Camden Yards two days later in front of Orioles co-general mangers Jim Beattie and Mike Flanagan. He threw 12 pitches there.

He was drafted a few days later.

"For some reason, once I got drafted I knew I wanted to go," Schindling said. "I signed because God gave me the chance to do what I've always wanted to do. I figured it happened for a reason."

Convincing his parents, however, was another matter.

"It was a complete shock when all this happened," Larry Schindling said. "We were not expecting him to get drafted, much less as a pitcher. Initially, we wanted him to go to school. But on the other hand, how do you tell someone they can't follow their dream?"