Orioles take Texas prep pitcher in Round 5 (draft updates)

In the fifth round of the First-Year Player Draft, the Orioles selected a left-handed pitcher from a Texas high school. They selected Colin Poche with the 162nd overall pick.

Poche is a 6-foot-3, 190-lb. hurler from Marcus High School in Flower Mound, Texas. He has a college commitment to the University of Arkansas.

He was rated as the 99th-best prospect in the state of Texas by Baseball America. He becomes the second high school player and third pitcher the Orioles have taken in this draft.

Poche played in the WWBA World Championships last fall in Jupiter, Fla., and threw three shutout innings with six strikeouts. Poche also helped the D-BAT Mustangs to the 2011 Connie Mack World Series in Farmington, N.M.

Upon signing him to play at Arkansas, here is quote on Poche from Razorbacks head coach Dave Van Horn on the Arkansas Web site:

“Colin is an athletic left hander that can throw strikes,” Van Horn said. “He’s also an outstanding student. We feel he has a chance to come in and contribute right away, especially as a left-handed pitcher.”

In round six, the Orioles selected Samford University pitcher Felix Rutledge with the 192nd overall pick. He is from Tupelo, Mississippi.

He certainly didn’t have great stats this year at Samford pitching in relief, going 1-4 with a 6.81 ERA. Over 35 2/3, he allowed 31 hits with 52 strikeouts.

Here is what Baseball America wrote about Rutledge:

Rutledge ranked just behind Mississippi State’s Chris Stratton among Mississippi high school pitchers in 2009, and he spurned the Brewers as a 26th-round draft pick to attend Samford. The Bulldogs made him a closer and he thrived in that role, going 5-1, 1.71 with 11 saves in 2010 and striking out 65 in 47 innings. Rutledge struggled with command when he moved into the weekend rotation in 2011 and moved back into the bullpen in 2012.

Walks remained a problem, though, and he has 84 in 142 career innings with a 6.81 ERA this spring. Rutledge has thrown hard in two summers in the Cape Cod League, hitting 97-98 mph in short spurts. His fastball has resided more in the 91-93 mph range this spring but touched 95-96. If he throws strike with it, he can put hitters away with one of the draft’s better curveballs, a power pitch in the 79-82 mph range with downer action. It’s a swing-and-miss pitch that at times gets slurvy. He hasn’t shown strong stuff when used on back-to-back days. He could go as high as the second round, but more likely will last into the fourth or fifth.

He is rated by Baseball America as the 148th-best prospect in this draft.

In round seven, the Orioles drafted University of South Carolina pitcher Matt Price, a 6-foot-2, 215-pound right-hander who is in his junior season.

He went 7-3 with an ERA of 1.83 pitching in relief last year, when he was drafted in round six by Arizona but did not sign. This season, in 23 games with five starts, he is 4-4 with a 3.63 ERA. In 67 innings, he has allowed 47 hits with 28 walks, 78 strikeouts and a .197 batting average against.

The 22-year-old from Sumter, S.C., is said to pitch between 89 and 93 mph with his fastball velocity, touching 95 and 96 mph.

In round eight, the Orioles selected Michigan State outfielder Torsten Boss from Lowell, Michigan. The lefty hitter goes 6-foot even and 200 pounds and was a junior this year.

Boss batted .302 in 60 games for the Spartans this year with 13 doubles, three triples, five homers and 43 RBIs. His OBP was .419 and slugging was .447.

He is a career .337 hitter in three seasons and 163 games for Michigan State.

In round nine, the Orioles selected their sixth pitcher of this draft, taking right-hander Brady Wager from Grand Canyon University in Arizona. He is a 6-foot-2, 205-pound junior.

This season, Wager went 7-4 with a 3.75 ERA over 13 games, all starts. In 84 innings, he allowed 80 hits with 31 walks and 78 strikeouts. He gave up three homers and a batting average against of .248.

Wager, who pitched three complete games this year, is from Globe, Ariz., and was the 282nd overall selection of the draft.

In round 10, the Orioles took another college player, their eighth in this draft, selecting shortstop Joel Hutter from Dallas Baptist University, where he was a senior this year. Hutter stands 6-foot-1, 210-pounds and is from Davenport, Iowa.

This year Hutter batted .338 in 60 games with 16 doubles, one triple, 11 homers and 72 RBIs. He had a .400 OBP and slugging percentage of .556.

Hutter was the 312th overall selection of the draft.

Through 10 rounds, the Orioles had taken eight college players and just two from high schools. They have taken six pitchers (two lefties) and four position players.

In round 11 the Orioles selected LHP Kevin Grendell from San Pascual High School in California.

In round 12, the Orioles selected LHP William Waltrip from Seminole State Junior College in Oklahoma.

In round 13, the Orioles selected catcher Wade Wass, a right-handed hitter from Meridian Community College in Mississippi.

In round 14, the Orioles selected RHP Sean McAdams from Cardinal Mooney School in Florida.

In Round 15, the last of today, the Orioles took RHP Derick Velazquez out of Merced College of California where he was reportedly a two-way player although the Orioles announced him as a pitcher when making the pick.

Over the first 15 rounds, 11 of the O’s picks were from a college and 10 of 15 were pitchers as they took four left-handers and six right-handers.

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