Is Hultzen emerging as likely O's draft pick?

With the First-Year Player Draft now less than 48 hours away, is it becoming more likely that the Orioles take a college pitcher rather than Dylan Bundy, the high school right-hander that so many mock drafts have linked the club with?

The answer is: Quite possibly.

In a tweet tonight, Baseball America's Jim Callis said his best projection now has Bundy going with the third pick to Arizona after Pittsburgh, picking first, takes Gerrit Cole of UCLA and Seattle nabs Rice infielder Anthony Rendon.

Callis then has the Orioles taking 21-year-old Danny Hultzen, the University of Virginia left-hander who is 10-3 with a 1.59 ERA and 136 strikeouts in 96 1/3 innings. Hultzen is a 6-foot-3, 200-pounder.

In an e-mail tonight, I asked Callis if he could provide any insight as to why Bundy may now go third with Hultzen to the O's.

"Just the word of the moment, not sure what's going into the thinking. I have known Arizona (like everyone else) really likes Bundy, but didn't realize they prefer him to Hultzen, who I thought was their guy. Plenty of time for it to change before Monday," he said.

Hultzen is pitching tonight in the NCAA regionals for Virginia against St. John's. Through seven innings, he has allowed three hits and one run with one walk and 12 strikeouts as Virginia leads 8-1. He also is batting fifth and is 2-for-4 with an RBI.


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