With their second pick in the 2016 draft, the Orioles selected Keegan Akin, a left-handed pitcher from Western Michigan University.
This is their ordinary second round pick in the draft, which they earned after their 81-81 record last season. They will be making one more pick tonight in this second round, at #69, for failing to sign last year’s second round pick.
Assorted draft forecasters believed that the Orioles would be interested in third baseman Joe Rizzo, a high schooler from Northern Virginia, with their second round pick. However, Rizzo was picked at #49 by the Mariners before the O’s second selection could come around tonight.
By the time you get to the second round, the odds start getting slimmer for any given prospect making it, but there are success stories in this round year in and year out, so the Orioles will be hoping that Akin can be one of them.
The best ever Orioles second round pick was Cal Ripken Jr., all the way back in 1978. Let’s not expect that from anyone they pick in any round this year. But maybe they can find a Nolan Reimold (2005) or Mychal Givens (2009) caliber of player here.
Much like the Orioles did with their second pick of last year’s draft, Ryan Mountcastle, the Orioles reached a bit on a player who wasn't rated this highly on various prospect lists. ESPN’s Keith Law didn’t have Akin in his top 100 and Baseball Prospectus didn’t include him on the top 125.
Akin did pop up on MLB.com’s top 200 at #119, and at #80 on Baseball America’s 500. Just as a guess, he could be a bit of an underslot signing here in order to give the O’s the chance to give more money to a later round pick.
If Akin is going to make it, he will probably lean on his best qualities, as laid out by MLB.com:
One of the hardest-throwing lefty starters in the college ranks, Akin usually pitches at 91-94mph and peaks at 96. ... He maintains his velocity deep in games and generates it without much effort. ... His low-80s slider or his tumbling changeup should both be at least average offerings.
On the other hand, he will also have to overcome some obstacles to make his way to the big leagues. At only 6’0", there will always be some questions about whether he’ll be able to generate sufficient downhill plane on his pitches.
The slot value for this pick is $1,177,200.