Baby Birdland's Preseason Top 15 Prospects List: #7 LHP Keegan Akin

Today we continue on with our unveiling of our Preseason Top 15 O's Prospects list and we have arrived at #7, left-handed pitcher Keegan Akin.

Photo: Patrick Cavey

Akin, 22 (will turn 23 on April 1), was the Orioles' second round draft choice in the 2016 MLB Draft out of Western Michigan.

Both he and Cody Sedlock were moved straight to the High-A Frederick Keys entering the 2017 season, thus skipping the Low-A Delmarva Shorebirds.

Sedlock struggled, and Akin appeared to be joining him to start the season, but really picked it up in the second half. Over nine starts after the All-Star Break, Akin posted a 3.63 ERA with a 1.23 WHIP and 50 strikeouts over 44.2 innings pitched. In comparison, Akin owned a 4.55 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP in the first half of the season.

Akin has a good mix of pitches, which includes a fastball that sits 91-94, as well as a very good slider. His changeup is what needs the most work, but shows signs of improvement and the ability to become an average pitch for him, which would give him a good three-pitch mix.

What I like most about Akin is how effortless his delivery looks in person. It is very repeatable and that, along with his endurance, helps him maintain his velocity throughout his starts.

I have reason to believe that Akin is set to have a big year in 2018. Part of that reasoning is the fact that his slider normally makes life for lefties miserable, but over 2017, left-handed hitters hit 39 points (.269) better than right-handers. I fully expect that number to come down, and with that, his success on the mound should be better as well.

I will be interested to see where Akin begins the 2018 season, as I think he will head to AA Bowie, but would not be surprised to see the Orioles start him at Frederick again and make him prove his second half was no fluke.

Akin is a guy to watch in the O's system for sure, and I think he could be the best starter in the future out of the Orioles' 2016 draft class.

This year, we had all the writers here at Baby Birdland, as well as Patrick Cavey (our primary photo supplier) and a member of an O's affiliate's front office, who would like to remain anonymous. Each of us submitted our own Top 15 prospects list, and the lists were then combined into one using the average finish for each prospect. All told, 26 different prospects appeared on at least one of the Top 15 lists submitted. Of the six lists, Akin appeared on all six of them and was ranked as high as fourth.

Be sure to stay tuned as we continue to unveil our Preseason Top 15 Prospects list and check out those that have been revealed thus far on our Top 15 Prospects page!


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