Orioles101 has received several requests to go through the Baltimore Orioles prospects and formulate a list of how these prospects rank. We strive to provide readers with information and articles that they want to read and we have compiled a top ten Baltimore Orioles prospect list, and we are now at number nine, Branden Kline.
The Orioles drafted the 21 year old right handed pitcher in the 2012 MLB First year player draft with their second round selection (65th overall) out of the University of Virginia where he served as a closer in 2011 and a starter in 2012. Kline, who could live the dream of pitching for his hometown team as he grew up in Frederick, Maryland with parents who are Orioles fans, has a great frame (6'3'' 195 lb) with a live arm and clean delivery. He could easily gain more velocity on his already consistent low-90's fast ball as a starter or 95 in relief and throws a wicked hard curve that he has confidence in no matter the count.
Kline has obviously not had much experience yet as a professional since he was drafted this year, but did get four starts under his belt with the short season class-A Aberdeen Ironbirds late this summer, were he was 0-0 with a 4.50 ERA in 12 innings pitched and had a 3:1 strikeout to walk ratio. He threw three innings in each start while being on a strict pitch count and limited work load. A positive note is that half of his six earned runs came in one of his four starts, which was his first start, so his nerves may have gotten the best of him.
Branden will undoubtedly benefit from his first full professional season coming up in 2013 as the Orioles plan to bring him along as a starter in the beginning, but do not be surprised if he is eventually groomed into a 7th or 8th inning reliever in the future. Baltimore has confidence in his skill set and potential, as evident by drafting him in the second round and inking him with a $793,700 signing bonus. Kline will have some growing and fine tuning to do, and fans should not expect to see him until 2015 or at the earliest, late in the 2014 season.
Orioles101 Top Ten Prospect List:
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