Orioles take Samford left-handed reliever Rutledge in sixth round

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The Orioles' sixth-round pick, Samford left-hander Lex Rutledge, is a very intriguing selection.

Rutledge, ranked the No. 148 prospect by Baseball America, has a fastball that has peaked at 97-98 mph in the Cape Cod League but sits more at 91-93.

That fastball on its own from a left-hander makes Rutledge interesting. Reports also say he owns one of the better curveballs in the entire draft field, a hard breaking pitch that is in the 79-83 mph range.

But Rutlege has suffered from control problems. He was 1-4 with a 6.81 ERA this spring at Samford, striking out 52 and walking 24 and allowing 31 hits in 35 2/3 innings. As a sophomore, he was 5-6 with a 3.71 ERA (79 K, 45 BB, 51 H in 63 IP) as a weekend starter.

If he can improve his command, he can project to be a power-arm late-inning reliever, but he has 84 walks in 142 career college innings.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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