To say that Birdland was shocked about day one of the MLB Draft is a definite understatement.
The Orioles made a bold, surprising, and unexpected decision, when they drafted University of Arkansas outfielder, Heston Kjerstad, with the No. 2 overall pick.
Many analysts and scouts thought that the O’s would select Austin Martin with the second overall pick, but Mike Elias in company went a different direction.
Kjerstad was considered the best left-handed power bat in the draft and was absolutely tearing the cover off the ball early in 2020 for the Razorbacks.
A pre-season All-American, Kjerstad began the 2020 season with a 16-game hitting streak and lead his team with a .448 average through those 16 games.
The 21-year-old Amarillo, TX, native tallied a team-high six home runs and 20 RBI before the abrupt ending of the baseball season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
For his collegiate career, Kjerstad finished with 35 homers, 124 RBI, a .343 average, and an on-base percentage of .513. He also earned SEC Freshman of the Year honors in 2018, helping Arkansas reach the College World Series finals.
Believe it or not, Kjerstad has connections to the Orioles. His former Razorback teammate, RHP Blaine Knight, was selected by the Orioles in the third round of the 2018 draft. He also played with Orioles 2018 first round pick, RHP Grayson Rodriguez.
Kjerstad is likely to man a corner outfield position. He has a really strong arm, which projects him to be a right fielder.
Heston has already expressed his excitement about trying to hit the famous warehouse at Camden Yards with his lefty pop. He’s going to fit in just fine in the Charm City.
The Orioles had the first Competitive Balance Round A pick, No. 30 overall. With that selection, the Orioles drafted Mississippi State shortstop, Jordan Westburg.
Westburg, 21, is a New Braunfels, TX, native with a ton of potential, especially defensively in the middle infield.
In 16 games this season, Westburg had an impressive .317 average, with two home runs and 11 RBI.
If Westburg can hit for contact at the big league level, he can prove to be a real threat for the Orioles.
What are your thoughts on day one of the MLB Draft? Did the Orioles make the right moves in your opinion? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to follow The Baltimore Battery on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram!