For the fifth time as the Baltimore Orioles GM, Mike Elias has been tasked with drafting players to help the Orioles future. Elias has displayed a talent for selecting the best prospect and O's fans are hoping that this year brings more of the same. After selecting outfielders Enrique Bradfield Jr. (round 1, #17 overall) and Mac Horvath (round 2, #53 overall), the O's decided to take a pitcher.
Baltimore Orioles select Jackson Baumeister with third pick of day one
The Orioles selected Jackson Baumeister in competitive balance round B, #63 overall. Baumeister was primarily a catcher in high school and was converted to a full time pitcher when he attended Florida State University. In his freshman season, the Seminoles helped Baumeister adjust to pitching full time and he was mostly used as a reliever.
Baumeister appeared in 19 games, making two starts and displayed great ability to rack up strikeouts but also struggled with his control. Jackson averaged 13.5 K/9 that year but also had a 5.60 ERA and 6.6 BB/9. He did pitch well enough in his freshman year to be able to play in the Cape Cod League that summer.
Pitching for the Hyannis Harbor Hawks in the Cape Cod League, Baumeister was able to transition into a full time starter. He started all six games he appeared in and made noticeable improvements. Jackson kept striking out hitters (12.9 K/9), while lowering his ERA (4.29) and BB/9 (4.3). Baumeister returned to Florida State for his sophomore season looking to continue those trends.
The Seminoles apparently liked what they saw and kept Baumeister as a starter. He made 14 starts as a sophomore with only one appearance out of the bullpen. Baumeister's ERA still wasn't pretty at 5.09 but he cut is BB/9 nearly in half to 3.8 and continued to strikeout 12.4 hitter per nine innings.
Baumeister's primary pitches are his fastball and curveball. His fast ball typically sits in the low to mid 90's and tops out at 97. Jackson then throws his curveball, which sits in the mid 70's, to keep hitters off balance. Baumeister could draw comparisons to Corbin Burnes with his fastball / curveball combination. He also has a slider and a changeup that need some fine tuning in the minors.
Listed at 6'4 and 224 pounds, the right handed throwing Jackson is already a big body and profiles as a power pitcher. He turns 21 years old today and should fill out a bit more to help with durability and maybe add a bit of velocity. The Orioles have great pitching coaches in the minors that should be able to help Baumeister gain the control he needs to find his way to the major leagues in just a few short years.