For the second year in a row, the Orioles have selected a college player with their first pick in the amateur draft.
They went for pitching tonight, as expected, grabbing University of Illinois right-hander Cody Sedlock with the 27th overall selection.
Sedlock, a reliever his first two seasons at Illinois, was named the Big 10 Conference's Pitcher of the Year. He throws four pitches, including two breaking balls and a fastball that touches the mid-90s.
Sedlock, 20, is listed at 6 foot 4 and 210 pounds. There's speculation in the industry that he eventually could transition back into a relief role, but that's not why the Orioles drafted him tonight.
They're looking for stud starters who can move quickly through the system.
Sedlock was 5-3 with a 2.49 ERA in 14 starts as a junior, including two complete games. He allowed 28 earned runs and 80 hits in 101 1/3 innings, with 31 walks, 116 strikeouts and four home runs. In his three seasons, he posted a 2.96 ERA in 164 1/3 innings.
"Cody is a durable college starting pitcher with a good arm," said director of scouting Gary Rajsich. "He has a good fastball, good breaking pitches, good feel for a change and good control."
Here's a scouting report from ESPN.com:
"Sedlock spent his sophomore season in the Illinois bullpen, along with 2015 first-rounder Tyler Jay, and was touching 96 mph as a long reliever last spring. For an absolutely loaded Bourne Braves club on the Cape, Sedlock stretched out to start and was 90-94 mph for most of the summer. His success has continued this season as Sedlock has struck out 29 percent of hitter he's faced and holds his stuff deep into games.
"Sedlock and Illiniois pitching coach Drew Dickinson worked to keep his front side closed longer during delivery, making Sedlock more deceptive. Sedlock has held his velocity this spring and will flash a plus slider. Sedlock's curveball and changeup are works in progress, and he leaned on the fastball and slider out of the pen last year, so he hasn't had enough reps for us to expect a starter's repertoire from him just yet."
The Orioles received the pick as compensation for left-hander Wei-Yin Chen signing with the Marlins. They lost their own pick at No. 14 after signing Yovani Gallardo, but held onto the 27th pick when their agreement with free-agent outfielder Dexter Fowler fell apart.
The slot value for the 27th pick is reported at $2.098 million.
Baseball America and Sports Illustrated had the Orioles selecting University of Florida outfielder Buddy Reed.
MLB.com's Jim Callis predicted that the Orioles would select left-hander Kyle Muller of Jesuit College Prep in Dallas, and Jonathan Mayo predicted that the Orioles would take third baseman Joshua Lowe from Pope (Ga.) High School.
The last college pitcher chosen by the Orioles with their first pick was LSU right-hander Kevin Gausman in 2012. Brian Matusz was selected out of the University of San Diego in 2008.
Here's a list of the Orioles' first picks since 2000:
2015: DJ Stewart, OF, Florida State
2014: (no pick)
2013: Hunter Harvey, RHP, Bandys (N.C.) High School
2012: Kevin Gausman, RHP, LSU
2011: Dylan Bundy, RHP, Owasso (OK). High School
2010: Manny Machado, SS, Brito (Fla.) Private School
2009: Matt Hobgood, RHP, Norco (Cal.) High School
2008: Brian Matusz, LHP, Univ. of San Diego
2007: Matt Wieters, C, Georgia Tech
2006: Billy Rowell, 3B, Bishop Eustace (N.J.) Prep
2005: Brandon Snyder, C, Westfield (Va.) High School
2004: Wade Townsend, RHP, Rice
2003: Nick Markakis, OF, Young Harris (Ga). CC
2002: Adam Loewen, LHP, Surrey, BC
2001: Chris Smith, LHP, Cumberland (Tenn.)
2000: Beau Hale, RHP, Texas
Did you know that the Orioles forfeited their 1979 first round pick to sign pitcher Steve Stone? He won the Cy Young Award in 1980 and was out of baseball two years later.
The Phillies used the first overall pick on California high school outfielder Mickey Moniak.
Update: The Orioles used the 54th overall pick on Western Michigan left-hander Keegan Akin, who posted a 1.82 ERA in 17 starts. He walked 30 and struck out 133 in 109 innings.
Akin is listed at 6 foot 1, 195 pounds. His fastball sits 91-94 mph and tops out at 96. He also throws a low-80s slider and a changeup.
Akin was the MAC Tournament's Most Valuable Player after winning twice in five days and allowing one unearned run in 13 2/3 innings.
Update II: The Orioles used the 69th overall pick on right-hander Matthias Dietz of John A. Logan Community College in Illinois.
As a sophomore, Dietz was 12-1 record with a 1.22 ERA in 13 starts. He was regarded as the best junior college pitcher in the country.
Dietz is 6 foot 6 and 220 pounds. His fastball is 91-96 and topped out at 98. The Giants selected him in the 29th round last year.