O's ink comp pick Westburg, 2nd-rounder Haskin

June 28th, 2020

The Orioles officially welcomed two of their 2020 MLB Draft picks to the organization on Saturday, signing Competitive Balance Round A infielder Jordan Westburg and second-round outfielder Hudson Haskin.

A toolsy and high-performing shortstop from Mississippi State, Westburg signed a $2,365,500 deal that matched his slot value as the 30th overall selection. A speedy center fielder from Tulane, Haskin signed a $1,906,800 deal that matched his slot value as the 39th overall pick, according to a source.

The Orioles announced both signings on Twitter with photos showing executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias and each pick wearing masks after making the deals official.

“Dreams turning into reality,” Haskin tweeted. “Thank you to the @Orioles for this amazing opportunity. Time to get to work.”

Westburg echoed that sentiment in his own tweet.

“Dream come true," he wrote. "I could not be more excited for the opportunity the @Orioles have given me. I cannot wait to get the real work started.”

Together, Haskin and Westburg add to the growing number of athletic middle-of-the-field players Elias has brought into the organization over two years running their Draft. Elias has used 13 of his top 14 picks across two Drafts on position players, including five of six selections this June. Ten of the 14 -- including their first four this year -- came from the college ranks.

The reason is plain to see. Entering the 2020 Draft, MLB Pipeline had just one middle infielder ranked in the top 12 on its list of the Top 30 Orioles Prospects. Of the five outfielders on that list, three (and just one in the top 15) are considered capable of handling center field. Bringing Westburg and Haskin into the fold should boost both positions.

“You look at the history of the Draft, and middle infielders, especially shortstops from big-conference schools, every round they are the smartest picks you can make,” Elias said after the Draft. “You should really take as many as you can. And we really like Westburg.”

Speaking about Haskin after the Draft, Orioles scouting supervisor Brad Ciolek offered this assessment: “The first thing that stands out is the overall athleticism he has. He’s a double-plus runner who we believe will end up in center field. He also has a knack for barreling up the ball consistently and sneaky power.”

The signings leave the Orioles with two Draft picks yet to agree to terms: No. 2 overall selection Heston Kjerstad and third-round shortstop Anthony Servideo. They’ve already agreed to above-slot deals with fourth-round third baseman Coby Mayo ($1.75 million) and fifth-round pitcher Carter Baumler (reported $1.5 million), though neither deal has been officially announced by the club. That leaves the Orioles with roughly $6.4 million of their original $13.9 million bonus pool left for Kjerstad (slot value is $7.8 million) and Servideo (slot value is $844,200) without exceeding their allotment.

Teams that outspend their allotment by 0-5 percent pay a 75 percent tax on the overage. Twenty-one of 30 teams outspent their pools last year, and 149 teams have done so in eight years with these rules, but never by more than five percent.