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Orioles go heavy on pitching on Day 2 of Draft

Baltimore takes righty Knight in Round 3; Neustrom lone position player selected Tuesday
MLB.com

On Day 1 of the 2018 MLB Draft, the Orioles made clear their intention of stocking up on pitching by selecting right-hander Grayson Rodriguez No. 11 overall out of Central Heights High School in Texas. On Day 2, Baltimore's thinking was the same, as the O's selected seven more pitchers with their eight total picks Tuesday.

Five righties, two lefties and an outfielder make up the eight new Draft picks by the O's, with six hailing from college and the remaining two from high school. Headlined by Blaine Knight, a righty currently pitching for Arkansas in the NCAA Super Regional, the O's have deepened their array of young arms in the farm system two days into the Draft.

On Day 1 of the 2018 MLB Draft, the Orioles made clear their intention of stocking up on pitching by selecting right-hander Grayson Rodriguez No. 11 overall out of Central Heights High School in Texas. On Day 2, Baltimore's thinking was the same, as the O's selected seven more pitchers with their eight total picks Tuesday.

Five righties, two lefties and an outfielder make up the eight new Draft picks by the O's, with six hailing from college and the remaining two from high school. Headlined by Blaine Knight, a righty currently pitching for Arkansas in the NCAA Super Regional, the O's have deepened their array of young arms in the farm system two days into the Draft.

Draft Tracker: Follow every Orioles Draft pick

The Draft concludes on Wednesday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 beginning on MLB.com at noon ET.

Round 3: Blaine Knight, RHP, 21, Arkansas

Knight, MLB Pipeline's No. 48 prospect entering the Draft, was selected in the 29th round by the Rangers last year but opted to return to Arkansas for his junior season, where he has improved from a 3.28 ERA in 2017 to a 2.74 ERA in '18 with the Razorbacks. With a fastball that hovers around 90-94 mph and peaks at 97, Knight is currently 11-0 with Arkansas this season ahead of the Super Regionals this weekend.

:: 2018 Draft coverage ::

"Definitely the maturity side of pitching. Coming back and becoming a more mature pitcher helps add to a lot of stuff," Knight said about what he learned returning for his junior season. "I am a guy that is going to come out and give Baltimore everything I have."

Knight's great-grandfather, Lloyd Heightman, played professional baseball for the Pensacola Fliers, and his brother, Blake, played baseball at Southern Arkansas.

Round 4: Drew Rom, LHP, 18, Highlands (Ky.) HS
Rom brings a strong pitch command to the organization but said he needs to up his velocity for professional ball. The southpaw was originally committed to play for University of Michigan this upcoming season, but he said it was in his best interest to sign with the O's organization. Next on his list of to-do list is to continue building strength and getting his fastball and prized slider to the next level.

"First, I have to finish high school. We're still going, hopefully we can win a [state championship] ring to cap off high school," Rom said when talking about what his plans are before he makes the next step. "In my opinion and in a couple other people's opinions, they feel that I'm mature enough to be able to handle the struggles and challenges of Minor League ball. … There are still some physical things, such as getting stronger and working mechanically that can really improve my game as a pitcher."

Round 5: Robert Neustrom, OF, 21, Iowa
After receiving All-Star honors in the Cape Cod League last summer, Neustrom returned to Iowa for his junior season in 2018 and received All-Big Ten First Team honors after a .311/.386/.538 season with 11 home runs and 36 RBIs in 53 games played. Neustrom brings power from the left side of the plate, and was ranked as the No. 147 prospect by MLB Pipeline entering the Draft. Neustrom is the first Iowa position player selected in the first five rounds since Danan Hughes in 1992.

Video: Draft Report: Robert Neustrom, College outfielder

Round 6: Yeancarlos Lleras, RHP, 17, Leadership Christian Academy (Puerto Rico)
With a pitch routine that mimics Red Sox reliever Craig Kimbrel, Lleras brings with him a velocity range in the mid-90s. Smaller in stature, Lleras' drop-and-drive pitch delivery can fool batters quickly. The 17-year-old from Puerto Rico is currently committed to play for Florida International.

Round 7: J.J. Montgomery, RHP, 21, Central Florida
Fluctuating back and forth between starter and reliever, Montgomery has been one of Central Florida's most dependable arms this past season after two years with Northwest Florida State College. Seen as a two-pitch power reliever, his strengths lie in the strikeout, which is evident after he whiffed 74 batters in 63 2/3 innings in 2018 for the Knights. His brother, Christian, was selected by the Mets in the 11th round of the '11 Draft.

Round 8: RHP Ryan Conroy, 21, Elon University
After Tommy John surgery in high school, Conroy wasn't sure he would even make it to college baseball. But after being a part of the Elon squad the past three seasons, the righty starter has seen his Draft stock soar and watched his ERA lower an entire run between his sophomore (4.40) and junior seasons (3.29) in 2018.

Round 9: Kevin Magee, LHP, 22, St. John's
The O's first of two college senior Draft picks through two days comes in the form of Magee, a strikeout machine for St. John's. His above-average changeup helped power him to 92 punchouts (21 looking) in 77 2/3 innings pitched in the Red Storm's Big East title season in 2018. Magee joins fellow St. John's alumnus Alex Katz in the O's organization, who is currently pitching with Class A Delmarva.

Round 10: Dallas Litscher, RHP, University of St. Katherine
The other college senior taken by the O's is Litscher, who specializes in his fastball and spiked curveball. He struck out 105 batters in 73 2/3 innings pitched in 2018 to go along with an 8-1 record and 3.05 ERA.

Zachary Sliver is an associate reporter for MLB.com.

Baltimore Orioles