5:05PM: The Orioles have signed two of their picks from the amateur draft, announcing that Competitive Balance Round A pick Jordan Westburg and second-rounder Hudson Haskin have agreed to deals with the club.
Financial terms weren’t announced, though the 30th overall selection (Westburg) has a $2,365,500 slot value and the 39th overall pick (Haskin) has a $1,906,800 slot price. The O’s have already gone notably over slot with two of their other draft signings, though some type of below-slot deal is expected with second overall pick Heston Kjerstad, as Baltimore’s slight reach in taking Kjerstad at that selection was seen as a way to free up more pool money for signings in the rest of the team’s draft class.
Westburg was a consensus top-40 pick among pundits, with Fangraphs being the highest on him as the 32rd-ranked player on their draft board. A 21-year-old shortstop, Westburg has been a big part of Mississippi State’s consecutive appearances in the College World Series, and he also performed well in the Cape Cod League last summer. While seen as something of an inconsistent or raw hitter, Westburg has cut down on his strikeouts over his last three NCAA seasons, and could develop more power as he continues to build on his 6’3″, 203-pound frame. That size could make Westburg a candidate to eventually move to third base, though he is considered to have the athleticism and throwing arm required to earn a look at shortstop.
Haskin, an outfielder out of Tulane, has drawn some comparison to Hunter Pence for, to quote, Baseball America’s scouting report, a swing that “works despite being ugly.” Haskin’s lengthy swing has nonetheless delivered impressive results at the plate, and he could also potentially work as a big league center fielder given his plus speed and solid defense. The Orioles were clearly higher on Haskin than most pundits — the 21-year-old was ranked 51st on Keith Law’s board, 74th by MLB Pipeline, 76th by Fangraphs, and only 211st by Baseball America.