Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

news

MLB News

Orioles find fireballer Akin with 2nd selection

One of Draft's hardest-throwing college southpaws selected at No. 54 overall
MLB.com @Britt_Ghiroli

BALTIMORE -- Coming off a historic season at Western Michigan University, left-hander Keegan Akin was duly rewarded: going in the second round to the Orioles in Thursday night's Draft.

Akin, the No. 54 overall pick, is the first Western Michigan player to be drafted in the first three rounds since Ryan Van De Weg (Padres) and Luke Wilcox (Yankees) in 1995.

Akin joins the University of Illinois' Cody Sedlock -- taken No. 27 overall. The two are very familiar with one another, as they were teammates in the Cape Cod League. Baltimore also used its 69th pick on right-hander Matthias Dietz from John A. Logan CC (Illinois). 

BALTIMORE -- Coming off a historic season at Western Michigan University, left-hander Keegan Akin was duly rewarded: going in the second round to the Orioles in Thursday night's Draft.

Akin, the No. 54 overall pick, is the first Western Michigan player to be drafted in the first three rounds since Ryan Van De Weg (Padres) and Luke Wilcox (Yankees) in 1995.

Akin joins the University of Illinois' Cody Sedlock -- taken No. 27 overall. The two are very familiar with one another, as they were teammates in the Cape Cod League. Baltimore also used its 69th pick on right-hander Matthias Dietz from John A. Logan CC (Illinois). 

27th overall: Cody Sedlock
69th overall: Matthias Dietz

"Very exciting night, but it's time to get to work now," Akin said after the news of his selection. 

:: Complete 2016 Draft coverage ::

The same can be said for Orioles scouting director Gary Rajsich and his staff as 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.

Akin, ranked No. 119 by MLB.com on the pre-Draft board, bypassed big leaguer Pat Misch's school strikeout record (99), fanning 133. He pitched the Broncos to their first Mid-American Conference tournament championship by winning two games in five days (and MVP honors) while permitting just one unearned run in 13 2/3 innings. Akin led the team to its first NCAA Tournament since 1989. 

"He's a fearless competitor," Rajsich said. "He has a lighting-fast arm. His secondary stuff is developing, and we think he'll get better. We like the ceiling. We think he's a future middle-of-the-rotation arm, and the kid really knows how to compete. He's a winner."

Akin finished with a 1.82 ERA, a mark good for 15th in the nation and second in the MAC. Akin led Western Michigan in ERA (1.82), starts (17), complete games (two), innings (109), opponent batting average (.192) and strikeouts (133), and he allowed only one home run all season.

Akin throws 91-94 mph and peaks at 96 with late life on his fastball, making him one of the Draft's hardest-throwing college lefties. Listed at 6-foot, 200 pounds, Akin is able to maintain his velocity without too much effort in his delivery. He has three quality pitches: the low-80s slider and a changeup that should play at the Major League level. 

The Midland, Mich., native was named third-team All American this season. He was also voted to the First Team All-Mid-American Conference (MAC), All-MAC Defensive Team and All-MAC Tournament Team. He also earned MAC Tournament Most Valuable Player honors and won the MAC West Player of the Week twice.

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.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Baltimore Orioles