Not too often do you get to see a home grown kid play for his very own home ball club, yet Branden Kline had that miraculous opportunity in 2019. However, at age 25, relief pitcher Branden Kline has decided to hang up the glove and call it a career
The Frederick, MD native that is Branden Kline certainly did not have an easy road to the major leagues. Originally drafted by the Boston Red Sox in 2009, Kline elected to attend college instead and spent four year at the University of Virginia. After a very successful college career, Kline was again drafted in 2012. This time by his childhood home team, the Baltimore Orioles.
At his time in college, Kline was a favorite who was twice voted as an All-ACC selection. Kline Also helped the University reach the college World Series in 2011 while setting the record for save in a season at 18.
When it came time to perform in the minor leagues, Branden Kline was plagued with injuries. His first two seasons in low A ball and A ball saw only 12 games, where Kline held a collective 5.18 era.
2014 finally saw Kline at full health, when he appeared in 26 games. Across those 143.1 innings pitched, Kline showed why he was drafted twice. Kline excelled with 104 strikeouts and a 0.6 HR/9.
Let’s fast forward through a few more injury ridden minor league seasons to 2019, when Branden Kline made his emotional major league debut.
April 20th, 2019. Among as lack luster season for the Orioles, the highly awaited debut of Branden Kline was honestly one of the best parts of that season for me personally. Kline was a guy everyone wanted to see, but I always felt for him as he traveled such a rough road to the majors. When he appeared on the mound for the first time, with his mother teary eyed in the stands at Camden Yards, I can say I was truly happy for the kid!
41 innings in 2019 showed some promise for Kline at the major league level. A 5.93 era was a little raised due to a poor defense behind him, and Kline still registered a decent 7.5 K/9.
2020 was exceptionally short for Kline, where he only saw five games. However, Kline is ending his career in a good note, where he held a 1.80 era in those five games while he striking out seven and allowing just two hits.
Everyone here at The Baltimore Battery and Birdland alike wish Branden Kline the best of luck in retirement and in the rest of his life!
Once an Oriole, always an Oriole. Good luck, Branden!