By Contributing Writer: Chuck Boemmel Jr.
With the 308th pick (Round 10) of the 2017 MLB Draft the Baltimore Orioles selected RHP Josh Keaton, a fifth year senior, out of Adams State University (Colorado).
Photo: Baby Birdland
You may be wondering, why write about the 10th round pick? I say, why not? Here at BabyBirdland we cover all of the minor leagues and that includes the 2017 Draft picks.
As I researched Keaton, I found him to be likeable player and one fans could feel good rooting for.
The 6’ 1” 200 lb pitcher compiled a 4-6 record with 2 no decisions in a team high 75.0 innings in 2017. His ERA was 5.52 with 84 strikeouts, good for second best in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference and 34 walks. Keaton also threw 2 complete games this past season.
While not spectacular, his 2017 numbers were an improvement over his 2016 numbers. Keaton’s record in 2016 was 3-6 in 15 appearances (68.2 innings pitched). He had an ERA of 6.68 in 2016 with 87 strikeouts and 51 walks. Again, he threw 2 complete games while making the transition from reliever to starter.
Keaton was used out of the bullpen in 2015. He made 11 appearances and pitched to a 3.09 ERA in 11.2 innings with 8 strikeouts and 10 walks.
I like the fact that Keaton did what the team asked and became essentially the Adam State’s workhorse this past season.
As a prep player at Sand Creek High School in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Keaton went 8-6 in 18 appearances with a 3.07 ERA. He threw 82.0 innings in his 2 years as a varsity player with 123 strikeouts and 73 walks. Not bad with a bat, Keaton slashed .318/ .468/ .373 with 23 RBI as well. Of note is the fact that Keaton is the first player drafted from Sand Creek, a school that opened in 1997.
I zeroed in on this 10th round pick because the Orioles have gotten good value out of that round in recent years. Since 2011, the 10th round has produced Tyler Wilson, Austin Wynns, Jay Gonzalez, Reid Love and Cody Dube. I think Keaton is more than just a senior signee who will simply fill out a low minor league roster; I see him as a potential innings eater coming out of the bullpen.