Jim Callis with props for O’s draft, plus other notes

When I interviewed MLBPipeline.com’s Jim Callis this week it was apparent he is very high on the O’s 2020 draft, where they selected six players over the draft’s five rounds.

Thumbnail image for Kjerstad Swings Arkansas Gray Sidebar.jpgHere is a review of the Orioles’ draft:

* Round 1 (No. 2 overall) - O’s selected University of Arkanas outfielder Heston Kjerstad. He was signed to a bonus of $5.2 million, which was well under the slot amount of $7.79 million.

* Competitive Balance Round A (No. 30 overall) - They selected Mississippi State shortstop Jordan Westburg. He was signed to a bonus of $2,365,500, the exact amount designated for that slot.

* Round 2 (No. 39 overall) - The O’s added Tulane outfielder Hudson Haskin. He signed for an even slot bonus of $1,906,800.

* Round 3 (No. 74 overall) - They selected University of Mississippi shortstop Anthony Servideo. While the amount set for the No. 74 slot was $844,200, Servideo signed for an overslot bonus of $950,000.

* Round 4 (No. 103 overall) - O’s selected third baseman Coby Mayo out of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida. The slot amount was $565,500 and he was signed for $1.75 million.

* Round 5 (No. 133 overall) - The O’s add pitcher Carter Baumler from Dowling Catholic High School in Iowa. The slot amount was $422,300 and he was signed for $1.5 million.

“I thought it was one of the deeper drafts, one of the best drafts,” said Callis. “If I remember correctly, we had Kjerstad ranked 10th on our draft list. I did hear a lot of Baltimore media getting asked, ‘How could they take the 10th guy at No. 2?’ Well, there was not that big of a gap between 2 and 10.

“Now, they got a great deal. They got him for over $2 million under slot, which allowed them to do some other things. Plus, this guy hit from the start in the SEC and was the best lefty power hitter in the draft on the college side. And I think 6 to 10 were jumbled up for a lot of clubs. You could argue they got the sixth-best player. Because he was going to go lower, they got a great deal. You have to get talent and they took a talented guy at 2 and poured that money into Mayo and Baumler.

“If they had taken Austin Martin at two, you look at what he got from the Blue Jays, they wouldn’t have saved the money to get those guys. All six of their picks are interesting. You don’t usually get six guys that are close to the top 100 and sign them all.”

Callis said there were things to like about each O’s selection.

“Kjerstad is the best lefty power hitter in the draft. Westburg, another SEC performer. Shortstop with power, profiles at third base if he doesn’t stick at short. Real interesting guy. Hudson Haskin, a really gifted center fielder. Didn’t fly under the radar, but in a normal year he might have gone higher. He’s a tooled-up center fielder who as a draft-eligible sophomore played a year and change. So, he wasn’t as heavily scouted as guys who had been around for three years. Anthony Servideo really came on this spring. Had a great spring. Slick fielder and showed a lot more with the bat. Coby Mayo has the power and arm strength you want at third base. And Baumler is a projectable, athletic pitcher who no one thought was going to be signable and the Orioles got him.

“These aren’t just like interesting guys that go into the top 30. They’re all guys with a good amount of upside. It was a pretty impressive haul.

MLBPipeline.com’s new O’s top 30, rates Kjerstad No. 3, Westburg No. 7, Haskin No. 14, Baumler No. 19, Servideo No. 21 and Mayo No. 25.

The streaks are over: The Orioles ended three long streaks with a 6-3 win over the New York Yankees in the second game of a doubleheader last night. They lost 6-5 in the opener. They snapped a 19-game losing streak to New York with their first win over the Yankees since March 31, 2019. They snapped an 18-game home losing streak to the Yankees with their first win at Oriole Park since July 10, 2018. The Yankees failed to homer in the game, ending a run of 22 straight games with a homer off Baltimore pitching.

Ryan Mountcastle hit a two-run shot, his first Camden Yards home run. Through 13 games, he is batting .356 with three homers, nine RBIs and a 1.020 OPS.

Pat Valaika had a two-run double in the O’s four-run fifth. Valaika is 10-for-20 over his past seven games.

DJ Stewart walked twice and was hit by a pitch in the nightcap. Stewart is batting .000 (0-for-16), but thanks to nine walks and that hit-by-pitch, his OBP is .385. He’s reached base 10 times in 26 plate appearances.

Right-hander Jorge López got the win on the mound. Over five innings he gave up three hits and three runs that were unearned. He is 1-0 with a 4.82 ERA in five games with the Orioles.

Right-hander César Valdez got his first major league save, pitching the final two innings in the seven-inning game. Valdez again had a team off balance trying to solve his changeup. Of his 33 pitches, he threw 28 changeups that averaged 77.3 mph. The Yankees swung at 12 of them and whiffed four times.

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