Orioles sign RHP Kyle Mertins out of the Independent League

Every time Dan Duquette signs a nobody who doesn't have a photo, I'll just post a picture of Duq himself. - Greg Fiume

Mertins pitched 45 games for the Sioux Falls Pheasants in 2012 with a 1.00 ERA

Per Roch Kubatko, the Orioles have just signed right-handed pitcher Kyle Mertins, who spent 2012 with the Sioux Falls Pheasants, an independent league team. Just another arm for the scrap heap for Dan Duquette, who loves collecting guys like this.

Mertins was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 28th round of the 2010 amateur draft but was released after just two seasons pitching in relief. He pitched in 45 games for the Sioux Falls Pheasants with a 1.00 ERA and 9 K/9.

There isn't much information on Mertins on the internet, which isn't surprising considering he's a 28th round draft pick who was released after just 42 minor-league games. The best source I could find was from the IR Fast blog (keeping in mind that I know nothing of this site or its credibility). Here is what the writer had to say after watching Mertins pitch last August:

Kyle Mertins is a RHP with an interesting delivery in which it looks like his foot is already down by the time his arm comes over the top. He threw a lot of mediocre sliders that were 82-84 MPH. His fastball was 89-91, hitting 92 MPH. It is straight and stays high, but at least with his slider he works both eye levels.

Command/control is an issue for him. After being an okay reliever at Cal State Fullerton, Mertins was drafted in the 28th round by the Braves in 2010. He never had a good strikeout rate, but didn't walk too many batters and kept the ball in the park, putting up decent numbers but his career with the Braves ended after spending all of 2011 in Rome (A).

Born in 1988, Mertins is pretty old for a guy who has never pitched above the Sally League, but it's the kind of no-risk move that I'm growing accustomed to in the Dan Duquette Era.

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