Baseball America rated Cleavinger as the 185th-best player in the draft. Here’s the report:
The Ducks rallied in the season’s second half, riding Cleavinger and Stephen Nogosek down the stretch as a two-man bullpen tandem. Cleavinger has been a consistent performer even though, for the most part, his velocity has sat more in the 92-93 mph range this spring than the 93-96 he showed last summer. Despite the diminished velocity, Cleavinger has maintained his killer instinct and ability to finish off hitters. Strong-bodied at a listed 6-foot, 220 pounds, he has good running life on his fastball and has harnessed just enough command of the live pitch to rack up plenty of strikeouts (15 K/9). He was even better in the Cape Cod League last summer (29 K, 13 IP). His curveball has power, at times sitting at 80-81 mph, and when he is able to land it, hitters have little chance against him. Cleavinger has mostly pitched in one-inning looks and projects in a similar role as a pro. He may not need much minor league time if he keeps missing bats.
The Orioles took Florida State outfielder DJ Stewart in the first round, Florida high school shortstop Ryan Mountcastle with the 36th pick and Georgia high school pitcher Jonathan Hughes with the 68th pick.
The Rays selected University of Maryland second baseman Brandon Lowe with the 87th selection.
Notes: The Orioles and the Maryland Food Bank will hold the 29th annual OriolesREACH Food and Funds Drive this weekend at Camden Yards during a three-game series against the Yankees.
Non-perishable food items and monetary donations from fans will be collected at each entrance from the time gates open through the middle of the second inning during all games this weekend. Fans also are encouraged to visit local OneMain Financial branches through June 25 to donate non-perishable food items.
According to the Maryland Food Bank, items most needed at this time are peanut butter, canned chicken, canned tuna, oatmeal, breakfast cereals, and canned fruits and vegetables. The drive benefits soup kitchens, food pantries and emergency shelters throughout Maryland.
Almost 6,000 pounds of food and $30,000 in cash donations were collected during last year’s OriolesREACH Food and Funds Drive.
Also during this homestand, the Orioles again will team up with the LUNGevity Foundation, an organization committed to the fight against lung cancer. In memory of late Orioles public relations director Monica Barlow, who bravely battled the disease before passing away in early 2014, the Oriole Bird and FOX Sports reporter Ken Rosenthal will wear special LUNGevity bow ties throughout Saturday’s 7:15 p.m. game against the Yankees.
Barlow would have celebrated her 38th birthday last week.
Fans are encouraged to stop by LUNGevity’s photo booth at the Kids Corner to take photos with bow tie props, the Oriole Bird and Rosenthal, and to learn more about LUNGevity’s Breathe Deep Walk taking place on Oct. 3 at Camden Yards.
Shortstop J.J. Hardy and third base coach Bobby Dickerson will instruct fielding drills to a 12U travel baseball team from Savage on Wednesday to fulfill an experience auctioned during the 2014 Baseball Winter Meetings, benefitting the LUNGevity Foundation.
The Savage Eagles won the experience and will participate in the private lesson on the field at Camden Yards from noon to 12:45 p.m.
Update: In the fourth round, the Orioles selected Saint Thomas Aquinas (N.H.) High School center fielder Ryan McKenna.
McKenna was Baseball America’s 161th-ranked prospect entering the draft.