The Orioles have now confirmed that they have come to terms with pitcher Matt Bywater, their seventh-round draft pick out of Pepperdine.
The 6’3”, 195-pound lefty went 6-5, 2.40 as a junior this past season. Over 97 2/3 innings, he allowed 88 hits with 30 walks and 83 strikeouts.
The 21-year-old Bywater, from Thousand Oaks, California, pitched five complete games for Pepperdine with four shutouts.
Early last season, he pitched a four-hit shutout with ten strikeouts vs. then 4th-rated Cal-State Fullerton. In that game, Christian Colon, who was the fourth pick in round one and Gary Brown, the 24th pick, went a combined 1 for 8 vs. Bywater.
Baseball America has called Bywater a “poor man’s Brian Matusz” with his ability to use several pitches.
His fastball velocity is only 88 to 90 but his curve and change are considered very good pitches and scouts talk about his ability to change speeds and vary his pitching patterns.
The O’s have now come to terms with 37 of their 49 picks. At this hour, their only unsigned top ten round picks are first-rounder Manny Machado and sixth-rounder Dixon Anderson, who will reportedly return to Cal for his senior season.
Meanwhile, high school pitcher Austin Urban, the O’s 27th-round pick, said he is very open to signing with the club but has not heard back from the Orioles as of late this afternoon.