By Contributing Writer: Nick Stevens
Today we conclude our look at how each of the Baltimore Orioles' 2016 MLB Draft picks performed in their debut seasons in the organization. We finish up by taking a look at those players selected in rounds 36-40.
Photo: Baby Birdland
Round 36: LHP Ben Brecht, New Trier HS (NJ)
The high school lefty did not sign with the Orioles after being selected with the 1081st pick in the 2016 draft. Instead, Brecht will begin his college career as a pitcher for the UC-Santa Barbara Gauchos. Even though he is not one of our Baby Birds, keep an eye out for Brecht. He stands at 6’7”, gave up just two runs in 44 innings his senior year, and averaged 15.1 K/9.
Round 37: RHP James Teague, Arkansas
Teague struggled his junior season at Arkansas after coming off of a shoulder surgery, but performed very well once entering the Orioles farm system. Originally assigned to the Gulf Coast League Orioles, Teague compiled a 3-1 record, 2.50 ERA, and 1.06 WHIP. James struck out 19 batters in 18 innings pitched and earned himself a save before earning a call-up to the Aberdeen Ironbirds. Making the transition saw an increase in opponent’s batting average, but Teague still showed great command. In 9 appearances for Aberdeen, Teague went 1-0 with a 3.29 ERA and recorded two saves in four opportunities. In 31.2 total innings pitched between the Gulf Coast and Short-A leagues, Teague gave up no home runs and only 11 walks.
Round 38: 3B Collin Woody, UNC Greensboro
The third baseman struggled in his first season with Aberdeen after signing with the Orioles. Woody’s slash line was a pedestrian .126/.232/.184/.416. In 87 at-bats, Collin struck out 29 times and managed only one home run and three RBI last year. The righty hit only .095 against left-handed pitchers. I wish nothing but success for Collin Woody, but he will need to greatly improve these numbers to remain within the Orioles’ farm system.
Round 39: RHP Seth Shuman, Valdosta HS, GA
Shuman did not sign with the Orioles after the draft, but I’m cheering for this kid. Derrick Davis of the Valdosta Daily Times reported on Shuman’s reaction to being drafted by the Orioles back in June. In the interview, Shuman said he was playing catch with his dad when his dad told him the Orioles had picked him in the 39th round. Instead of joining his older brother (drafted by Tampa Bay, now in the independent leagues), Shuman will honor his commitment to Georgia Southern where he will dual-sport as a pitcher and quarterback for the Eagles.
Round 40: RHP Joe Johnson, Erskine College
The Orioles used their final 2016 draft pick on Division II pitcher Joe Johnson out of Erskine College in South Carolina. Johnson had a tremendous start to his Orioles career after spending most of 2016 with the Gulf Coast League Orioles. Appearing in 18 games, Johnson pitched to a 2-1 record and 2.96 ERA. More impressively, Johnson struck out 32 batters in 24.1 innings of work and recorded a 1.07 WHIP. Despite the very small sample size, Joe Johnson proved that a promotion to Aberdeen would not phase him. Johnson appeared in two games and pitched 2.2 perfect innings with three strikeouts. Despite being a small school prospect and being taken with the 1,201st pick in the draft, Johnson shows great promise as an Orioles reliever.
Be sure to check out our previous pieces on those chosen in rounds 1-35!