Baltimore Orioles' Second Round Draft Pick, LHP Keegan Akin, Dominant in First Year

The Baltimore Orioles did something in this year's draft that made me, and probably a large majority of O's fans very happy, they used their first three picks on pitchers and in my eyes, the most important part is that all three pitchers were from the college ranks. Their second round selection, left-hander Keegan Akin, was dominant in his first year in the organization.

Photo: Patrick Cavey

Akin, 21, was the Orioles' first, second round selection and did his college pitching at Western Michigan Univeristy where he set all sorts of school records.

The 6-foot, 225 pound lefty got off to a shaky start in his professional career, but finished the season as dominant as any pitcher in the O's minor leagues, and Orioles' fans should be extremely excited.

His innings were limited due to having already gone through the college season, but he made nine starts for Aberdeen totaling 26 innings pitched. In those nine starts, Akin posted a minuscule 1.04 ERA with a 0.85 WHIP while striking out 29 batters and walking just seven. He did not surrender a single home run on the season and he held opponents to a .161 batting average. 

In his first three starts with the Orioles' Short-season A Aberdeen Ironbirds, Akin allowed three earned runs over eight total innings pitched. In those three starts, Akin also allowed nine hits while walking one.

Some O's fans were already nervous (despite the fact that being nervous about a draft pick three starts into his professional career is ridiculous), but Akin quickly figured out his stuff played because he did not allow a single earned run the rest of the season.

Over his final six starts, Akin posted a 0.00 ERA while allowing just six hits, six walks and striking out 22 batters over 18 total innings pitched. Think about that, he allowed 12 base runners over 18 innings and struck out 22, that's pretty dominant. In addition, three of Akin's final six starts ended with him not allowing a single hit.

Some of the more impressive statistics I saw from Akin was the fact that he held the leadoff batter of an inning to a .077 batting average having allowed just two hits to a leadoff batter of an inning and not walking a single one. In addition, he also held opponents to a .100 batting average with runners in scoring position.

If you do not know much about him, Akin is a hard throwing lefty with a fastball that normally sits between 91-94 mph, but I have seen him hit 96 (on a stadium radar gun). He also carries a pretty good slider and a good-enough changeup to give him three quality offerings. The thing I was most impressed with in seeing him in person is his command and ability to fill the strike zone without being hit hard. I really like what I have seen from Akin and will be very interested to see how he does next season when he will most likely be with the Low-A Delmarva Shorebirds.


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