Westburg loves Orioles' pick of Kjerstad; O's take outfielder in second round, shortstop in third - BaltimoreBaseball.com

2020 MLB Draft

Westburg loves Orioles’ pick of Kjerstad; O’s take outfielder in second round, shortstop in third

Jordan Westburg
Photo credit: Steven Branscombe - USA Today

Jordan Westburg was surprised that he was drafted by the Orioles on Wednesday. The 21-year-old shortstop, who was selected with the 30th overall pick in the competitive balance round, met with the Orioles via Zoom.

Westburg, who went to Mississippi State, described himself as being athletic.

“The athleticism allows me to be versatile on the field,” he said in a video conference call on Thursday. “It allows me to play an explosive type of baseball, and I think that explosive ability is what’s going to get me to the big leagues.”

Westburg said the Orioles entered the process late. “The Orioles were one of the last teams I heard from,” he said. “To have them be the last team that I talked to, and then to have the opportunity to be drafted by them, made it special. It made it feel like they were thinking of me that whole entire week leading up to the draft.”

Orioles executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias said on Wednesday night that it was conceivable Westburg could move from shortstop if there was a better defensive player when he was ready for the big leagues.

“I want to stick at this position for as long as possible,” he said. “But I understand that the game is evolving, and the game is changing. Because of my athleticism, I feel like I can play anywhere on the diamond. I’ve played some at third. I’ve played a lot at second.

“Wherever the team and the organization thinks I’m [the] best fit … I’m going to attack that and play to the best of my abilities there.”

Westburg played against Heston Kjerstad, the Orioles’ first-round draft pick and the No. 2 pick overall. Both Mississippi State and Arkansas, Kjerstad’s school, are in the Southeastern Conference. The two played together in Team USA trials as well.

“Don’t throw him anything in the zone,” Westburg said. “That dude can really hit … He’s a special dude, great kid, great teammate. He’s going to be a great friend. He can really hit. He can play defense. There’s a reason he was drafted No. 2. I can go all day saying great things about him, and I think he’s just going to back it up with his play and the way he carries himself on and off the field.”

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Westburg is impressed with what he’s heard about the Orioles’ rebuild under Elias. Kjerstad and last year’s overall No. 1 pick, catcher Adley Rutschman, are great talents, he believes.

“It makes you feel like you’ve got a chance to part of something special,” Westburg said. “Being able to have my name up with those two guys, have the chance to rise through this organization and make an impact is something special.”

Orioles take outfielder in second round: The Orioles selected another outfielder, Hudson Haskin, in the second round, the 39th pick overall. Kjerstad is also an outfielder.

The 21-year-old Haskin, who went to Tulane University, was a sophomore eligible for the draft.

Haskin played center and right field for Tulane and hit .363 with 11 home runs and 66 RBIs in 73 games in two seasons.

He’s a right-handed hitter, and showed a keen batting eye. He walked 40 times and struck out 39.

Third round pick, another shortstop: In the third round, the Orioles selected yet another shortstop, Anthony Servideo, a 21-year-old left-handed hitter from the University of Mississippi.

Servideo hit .294 in three years at Ole Miss, but in his abbreviated junior year, he hit .390 with five home runs and 17 RBIs and had nine stolen bases in 17 games.

His draft stock fell because he hit only .149 for Hyannis in the wood bat Cape Cod League last year.

Fourth round pick, a third baseman: The fourth-round pick was third baseman Coby Mayo from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Mayo was a sophomore at the time of the February 2018 shootings at the school.

The third baseman has a strong throwing arm and has committed to the University of Florida.

Fifth round pick, a pitcher: The Orioles’ final pick in the draft was right-handed pitcher Carter Baumler from Dowling Catholic High School in Iowa.

The Grimes, Iowa native has verbally committed to Texas Christian University.

After waiting until the eighth round to pick in a pitcher in 2019, the Orioles waited until the fifth round in 2020.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

21 Comments

21 Comments

  1. Dunnsky89

    June 11, 2020 at 5:28 pm

    Isn’t Heston Kjerstad an OF?

    • Dunnsky89

      June 11, 2020 at 5:29 pm

      Or did you mean we’ve yet to pick an infielder?

      • Rich Dubroff

        June 11, 2020 at 5:38 pm

        Thank you, Sean. I meant they hadn’t taken a pitcher!

    • Dunnsky89

      June 11, 2020 at 5:45 pm

      Oh, OK. Yeah, I’m kinda surprised by that.

  2. Phil770

    June 11, 2020 at 5:33 pm

    Rich,

    I am assuming this is not what you meant to say “In their first three picks, the Orioles have yet to pick an outfielder.” Two of their three picks were outfielders. My guess is you meant to say “a pitcher”. Any info on how well Haskin was ranked? It is not a name I recognize from the “Top xx” lists.

    Thanks

    • Rich Dubroff

      June 11, 2020 at 5:39 pm

      Thank you, Phil. I meant to say a pitcher!

    • Rich Dubroff

      June 11, 2020 at 5:41 pm

      MLB.com ranked him 74th and Baseball America 211th. I think he was ranked that low because he was a sophomore-eligible.

    • Rich Dubroff

      June 11, 2020 at 5:44 pm

      Phil, just before the draft, Jim Callis tweeted that he predicted the Orioles would take him.

  3. Bancells Moustache

    June 11, 2020 at 5:39 pm

    Who the hell is this dude?

    • Rich Dubroff

      June 11, 2020 at 5:43 pm

      I think he wasn’t well regarded because he was a sophomore-eligible.

    • Rich Dubroff

      June 11, 2020 at 5:44 pm

      But just before the second round began, Jim Callis predicted that the Orioles would take him.

  4. Phil770

    June 11, 2020 at 5:51 pm

    Was he drafted out of HS? I read that he would require over slot money or go back to Tulane. Does his ranking reflect that or is this a bigger over reach than round 1?

    • Rich Dubroff

      June 11, 2020 at 5:54 pm

      This seems like a bigger reach, Phil. Kjerstad was ninth in three mock drafts. This guy wasn’t close to that.

    • Rich Dubroff

      June 11, 2020 at 6:21 pm

      He was drafted in the 38th round by Oakland in 2018.

  5. DC Skins

    June 11, 2020 at 6:00 pm

    I don’t know this stuff cause it’s not my job….

    BUT–
    I would feel better if we had taken:

    2. Martin (or Veen if under slot was actually the strategy, which it just doesn’t look like it is)
    30. Dax Fulton or Jared Kelly
    39. Masyn Winn

    I have followed the NFL draft closely for 30+ years, and that’s not my job either, but I can usually tell during the draft when a team is having a bad draft and it plays out that way much more often than not.

    I have a bad feeling that we have missed on three better opportunities out of three.

    • Rich Dubroff

      June 11, 2020 at 6:22 pm

      Let’s check back in 2025.

  6. DC Skins

    June 11, 2020 at 6:38 pm

    Well that is the one nice thing about the quarantine. I have been following the MLB draft this year more than ever with my free time.

    So I will definitely be more interested in minor league ball and will recognize so many more names in pro baseball than I used to.

    I used to be a rotisserie baseball junkie. But I haven’t done that for years and am glad to start following these guys to see how they pan out.

    And I live in Frederick, so it will be fun to watch them as I will be familiar with more players on the field. I will go to more games now too.

    Wait — Frederick won’t have a team anymore??????? Oh geez….

  7. ClayDal

    June 11, 2020 at 6:48 pm

    There was speculation before the draft that the Orioles would draft someone at #2 below slot and spend on pick 30 and 39. So far it looks like they have reached on 3 picks. Perhaps Kjerstad was their choice at #2 and money wasn’t an issue. Westburg was taken where he was projected maybe a few picks early. But taking #74 at 39? Could it be possible that Elias has been instructed to save money on draft picks? Don’t have access to the Angelos’s finances, but the COVID-19 shutdown is certainly affecting the Orioles financially. The Orioles had the lowest payroll in MLB, so not paying the players isn’t as big an issue as it would be for a large market team. Also since the Orioles own their TV rights and the Nationals (MASN), that would have a negative effect on revenue. The Angelos family aren’t paupers, but they are not the Rockefeller’s either. Just a thought-maybe Elias sees these players as having high ceilings. We will find out in 2025

  8. DC Skins

    June 11, 2020 at 7:00 pm

    “You CAN’T Have Enough Pitching!”, say all of the experts.

    Elias has picked two outfielders and two shortstops.

    Did the Angelos’s tell him “DO NOT DRAFT PITCHERS– whatever you do?!”

    I guess our big overslot pitchers are going to be 4th and 5th rounders.

  9. DC Skins

    June 11, 2020 at 7:02 pm

    I would trade our draft for any other team’s draft (except Boston and Houston) so far.

  10. CalsPals

    June 11, 2020 at 8:40 pm

    I can’t figure out where Elias is finding all these diamonds in a pitching heavy draft…go O’s…

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