By Eduardo A. Encina
The Baltimore Sun
9:22 AM PDT, June 5, 2012
A few hours after taking LSU right-hander Kevin Gausman with the fourth overall pick of this year's MLB Draft, the Orioles selected another college arm with their second choice.
The Orioles selected University of Virginia junior right-hander Branden Kline, a graduate of Thomas Johnson High in Frederick, in the second round with the 65th overall pick.
Kline, who spent time as both a starter and reliever in three seasons with the Cavaliers, was ranked the 87th-best prospect in the nation by Baseball America.
The 6-foot-3, 195-pound Kline was a reliever his first two years at Virginia, including time as the team's closer as a sophomore, but he moved to the starting rotation this past season, going 6-3 with a 3.52 with 76 strikeouts and 31 walks in 72 innings.
He was somewhat streaky as a starter, but there was one stretch when he allowed just 19 hits and struck out 40 with 8 walks in 34 innings.
He was a sixth-round pick of the Red Sox out of high school in 2009 after being named the Maryland Louisville Slugger Player of the Year and the state's No. 1 prospect by Perfect Game.
Kline owns a low-90s fastball and a developing slider in the low-80s. It will be interesting to see how the Orioles decide to develop him, as a starter or a reliever.
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