A newcomer to the list, Branden Kline grew up in Frederick and turned down the Red Sox to go to college at Virginia. The Orioles grabbed him in the second round of the draft in 2012 and brought him back to Maryland where he belongs. He has a fairly good fastball – it tops out around 95 mph – but Baseball America warns that it’s “a little straight,” which is never a good thing to read. He also has a slider with good potential and a changeup that he’s still working on. The Orioles are now cleaning up his delivery, which Virginia decided to mold into their stock delivery (which BA describes thusly: “pitchers start from a squat and stay low throughout”). Kline is tall and has “a live, explosive body with long limbs” (BA is so descriptive), so this ‘staying low throughout’ and ‘squatting’ thing doesn’t sound like it suits him all too well.
Kline started out in short-season Aberdeen last year after signing, but he’ll probably start the year in either Delmarva or Frederick depending on how he looks in Spring Training. It all comes down to how advanced he is this spring.
The ‘Virginia’ delivery: