BALTIMORE -- A year ago, Cody Sedlock was a relief pitcher. But the right-hander made a name for himself with a dominant turn as a starting pitcher for the University of Illinois in 2016, sending him up Draft boards and square into the Orioles' first-round pick Thursday night.Sedlock, taken No.
BALTIMORE -- A year ago, Cody Sedlock was a relief pitcher. But the right-hander made a name for himself with a dominant turn as a starting pitcher for the University of Illinois in 2016, sending him up Draft boards and square into the Orioles' first-round pick Thursday night.
Sedlock, taken No. 27 overall, starred in the Cape Cod League while transitioning from the bullpen to the rotation, then earned Big Ten Conference Pitcher of the Year honors and set a school strikeout record this spring, fanning 116 in 101 1/3 innings to surpass former first-rounder John Ericks' mark.
"The Orioles are getting an outstanding young man in Cody Sedlock. Cody's work, on and off the field, have made him deserving of a first-round pick," Illinois head coach Dan Hartleb said. "It has been impressive to watch his development on the mound and in the weight room over the past three years; he's a great competitor. I really respect him as a person and what he's done for our program."
• 54th overall: Keegan Akin
• 69th overall: Matthias Dietz
Baltimore also added college lefty Keegan Akin (Western Michigan) -- who played with Sedlock in the Cape Cod League -- at No. 54 and right-hander Matthias Dietz from John A. Logan CC (Illinois) at No. 69 to wrap up Day 1.
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The Draft continues on Friday with Rounds 3-10. The MLB.com preview show begins at 12:30 p.m. ET, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 3-10 beginning at 1 p.m. ET.
The 20-year-old Sedlock likened himself to former Oriole Jake Arrieta in recent interviews and did again on Thursday, citing their frames and the way Arrieta takes care of his body.
"[Sedlock] was pretty much an unanimous selection. We all thought pretty highly of him," said Orioles scouting director Gary Rajsich, who wasn't worried about selecting three pitchers from cold-weather states. "It wasn't a concern. You've got to go to the areas with the highest level of success."
"This is the greatest day in my life," said Sedlock, who pitched well both times Rajsich got to see him. "I'm so excited to be part of this organization."
Sedlock was listed by MLB.com as the 26th-best player in the Draft. Though he was primarily a reliever in his first two college seasons, Sedlock has the stuff to start. He throws four pitches, fills the strike zone, generates a lot of groundouts and has a strong 6-foot-4 frame.
"Cody is a durable college starting pitcher with a good arm," Rajsich said. "He has a good fastball, good breaking pitches, good feel for a change and good control."
Sedlock's best pitch is his heavy sinker, which sits at 91-93 mph when he starts and can reach 96 in shorter stints. He also can miss bats with his low-80s slider. Sedlock's curveball and changeup aren't as effective, but they have their moments as well.
Sedlock joins Hunter Harvey, Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy as recent Orioles pitchers to go in the first round. The fact that he hasn't been overworked, being a starter only recently is a positive for the Orioles and gives Sedlock a chance to be a very durable starting pitcher.
Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.