Orioles Select Reliever Dan Klein With Third Round Pick

The Orioles had no supplemental picks because they lost no decent free agents last year, and no second round pick because they forfeited it to Atlanta when they signed Mike Gonzalez for $12 M*. That means their second pick in the 2010 draft came in the third round – number 85 overall – and they used it to select UCLA right-handed relief pitcher Dan Klein.

* What a terrific move! The Orioles clearly needed a closer with an injury history more than adding more young talent to their farm system. If the O’s hadn’t singed Gonzalez, then not only would they have an extra pick but they’d have had more money to invest in international players as well as finding guys that slide due to contract demands in the draft.

From MLB.com:

Scouting Report

Fastball: Klein has a solid-average fastball that he runs up to 93 mph, sitting comfortably at 91 mph.

Fastball movement: He’s got good sink and cutdown in the zone.

Slider: It’s a hard, short slider with late bite and tilt, thrown 82-85 mph.

Curve: Has an average curve with a downward roller movement; throws it 77-78 mph.

Changeup: Has a very good feel for his change, which has a splitter-type action to it, around 83 mph.

Control: He throws plenty of strikes and generally hits his spots well.

Poise: Shows good composure on the mound and competes well.

Physical Description: Klein is tall with a good pitcher’s body. He’s got a strong and lean lower half and has room to add strength.

Medical Update: Klein red-shirted his true sophomore season in 2009 because of shoulder surgery, but he appears fully healthy now.

Strengths: The chance to have three, maybe even four, usable pitches with good command. Good pitcher’s body, with excellent makeup. Very competitive on the mound. Has excelled as a closer and could be quick to the big leagues as a reliever, but also might have the repertoire to start.

Weaknesses: Injury history will concern some; he might be limited to a middle relief role when all is said and done.

Summary: After missing all of 2009 because of shoulder surgery, Klein wasn’t really on radar screens. That changed in a hurry as he emerged as one of the better college closers in the country. He can throw four pitches for strikes, leading some to think he should get a chance to start at the next level. Even if that doesn’t pan out, teams know they will have a competitive pitcher who can excel in a relief role and move quickly through a system. If teams feel he’s fully healthy — and he appears to be — that’s the type of arm that usually gets drafted fairly early.”

Not a fan of this selection. The O’s have holes all over the place and they’re picking a reliever? I get that the major league bullpen is struggling, but wasting a high draft choice to try to fix the problem now isn’t the best idea, I think. Seems like a move designed to save some money, which is ludicrous even with Machado’s asking price. I don’t know – perhaps the team is looking to move Klein to the rotation given his relatively deep repertoire. If that’s the case and it works*, I suppose there’s some decent potential there.

* Keith Law made a good point, which is that given the injury there’s no real reason to think Klein can handle a starter’s workload even if he could be effective in the role.

There’s obviously still plenty of draft left, but if the Orioles don’t take some talent with upside I’m not going to be a happy camper. And boy howdy, they better bring in some international talent. When you’re already in the hole with regards to major league talent and free agent acquisitions, you can’t afford to be middle of the road when it comes to developing your farm system. (Overreaction complete.)