Orioles stockpile pitchers on second day of MLB Draft

The Orioles had nine selections on day two of the MLB Draft, selecting six pitchers

Tennessee v Arkansas: Arkansas outfielder Tavian Josenberger celebrates rounding second base in a game against Tennessee
Tennessee v Arkansas: Arkansas outfielder Tavian Josenberger celebrates rounding second base in a game against Tennessee / Wesley Hitt/GettyImages

After a day one that saw them draft position players Enrique Bradfield Jr and Mac Horvath with their first two picks, the Orioles took a different approach in game two of the draft. With nine picks on the second day, the Orioles used six of them on pitchers.

All six pitchers the Orioles selected were right handers, with the team using their other three picks on outfielders. Another interesting wrinkle, all 12 of the draft picks through two days have been college players, an interesting approach by the Mike Elias regime.

Baltimore Orioles select six pitchers out of nine draft picks on day two of MLB Draft

The first pick the Orioles made was the 86th overall pick, with this one in the third round and their fourth pick of the draft. They picked pitcher Kiefer Lord out of Washington, a 6' 3" righty starting pitcher who was previously undrafted.

Lord's fastball sits around 94mph and has maxed out at 97, throwing his heater approximately 70 percent of the time. He throws a low 80s slider that has effective break and can be used as an out pitch. His third pitch is a changeup that he doesn't use often, but if he develops it more in the Orioles system he could have more of a future as a starter in the pros.

The next pick, also in the third round and 14 picks later, was used on Arkansas outfielder Tavian Josenberger. A switch hitter, Josenberger does most of his damage from the left side and has been more of a contact than power bat. 2023 was his lone year at Arkansas after transferring from Kansas.

Josenberger's 60 grade run tool gives him plus speed in center field, more so than stealing bases. His instincts and athleticism give him a good chance to stick in center field long term, but the Orioles can easily use his skillset to increase his versatility.

The only pick of the fourth round was used on Levi Wells, a pitcher from Texas State University. He won All-Sun Belt honors in his first season as a starter after transferring from Stanford. Wells has relied on spin rate and carry on his mid 90s fastball to get hitters out.

In addition to his fastball, his curveball, slider, and cutter generate good spin, with his curveball sitting in the upper 70s to go with the slider and cutter in the mid 80s. Wells could be a solid four pitch starter, and if he can develop his below average changeup, he could be an effective big league starter.

Outfielder Jake Cunningham out of UNC Charlotte was the Orioles pick in the fifth round, eligible as a four year junior. He was limited last year due to injury and coming back early to play DH, but when he's fully healthy, his baserunning shines along with his plus defense and average arm strength in the outfield.

Cunningham possesses lots of raw power in his swing thanks to his strength, bat speed, and 6' 4" frame at the plate. His career .279 average in college gives him plenty to work on at the plate, but his defense and speed will hopefully carry over well to the pros as he works on his hitting.

Round six saw the Orioles start a run on pitchers, with Jacob Cravey of Samford being chosen. He earned pitcher of the year honors in the Southern Conference with a 3.10 ERA in 16 starts. His 126 strikeouts rank him eighth nationally, compared to 40 walks.

Cravey's fastball maxes out at 97 mph but averages in the low 90s. His low 80s slider and changeup don't jump off the page velocity wise, but landing his pitches in the zone forces a lot of swings and misses

Up next in round seven saw Teddy Sharkey of Coastal Carolina landing with the Orioles. Sharkey was a true reliever with Coastal Carolina, picking up 11 saves and posting a 2.90 ERA with 74 strikeouts in 2023.

Sharkey sits around 94-95 mph with his fastball but can reach 98 if he rears back. His slider with a sharp break and a low 80s curveball also profile as plus pitches. The Orioles could try to stretch him out into either a starter or dynamic multi inning relief weapon.

Braxton Bragg out of Dallas Baptist was the Orioles eighth round selection. Serving as a reliever and picking up five saves with Nebraska in 2022, Bragg transferred to Dallas Baptist, where he got a chance to start.

His ERA in 2023 was 4.19 and he struck out 92 batters in 86 innings, including a single game high of 12 in his first start of the season against Fordham. His fastball sits in the low 90s and he features a mid 80s slider. He'll probably become a reliever to have any chance at making the majors.

The Orioles chose righty pitcher Zach Fruit out of Troy in the ninth round, spending the majority of the season in the Trojans bullpen. In 22 appearances, Fruit had an inflated 6.46 ERA while picking up five saves out of 14 total relief appearances.

Fruit's fastball tops out at 97 and is the oldest player selected by the Orioles through two days of the draft at age 23. Playing at Eastern Michigan before transferring to Troy, Fruit led the team with 65 strikeouts while picking up three saves.

The tenth round and final pick of day two was used on Matthew Etzel, who is an outfielder from Southern Mississippi. Going to Southern Miss after hitting .433 at Junior College in 2022, Etzel started off struggling but ended up improving over the course of the season.

Etzel is a contact hitter who doesn't miss fastballs very often. His best tool is a 65 grade run tool, with the main focus being to get on base and let the speed play. He does have enough power where he could be a double digit home run bat, but the main strength is the contact.

In three college seasons, Etzel has stolen 84 bases in 92 tries, good for a 91 percent success rate. His defense and speed in center field give him a good chance to stick in center in the pros, with his ability to get to the ball quickly compensating for his merely average arm strength.

Up next, day three and rounds 11 through 20 is on Tuesday afternoon beginning at 2:00 PM. The Orioles will have 10 draft picks on day three, one in each round. They'll pick first at 331 in round 11 and last at 601 in round 20.