The Orioles have signed the second pick in the overall draft. Heston Kjerstad, according to a team announcement. The University of Arkansas product will receive a $ 5.2MM bonus, according to Jim Callis of MLB.com (Twitter link).
Kjerstad was expected to approach the top of the draft, but not with the second pick. The O’s obviously liked it quite a bit, but they also saw an opportunity to save some bonus group ability to recruit and sign other talented players in later rounds. The club was able to reapply more than $ 2.5MM of the second total slot value.
As things stand, the Orioles are known to have deals with five of their six teams. Jordan Westburg (30º in general) and Hudson haskin (39) guaranteed bonuses in the slot machine. High school students Coby Mayo and Carter Baumler They were lured with exaggerated promises, although their offers are not yet official. That leaves Ole Miss infielder Anthony Servideo, the team’s third round election, without a pact (as far as is publicly known).
Perhaps it is easy to get caught up in the machinations and overlook the promise of Kjerstad. While teams obviously see the appeal of spreading the availability of the draft bonus to multiple players, they’re also not generally inclined to spend premium draft options on sub-premium talents.
All of the top draft experts rated Kjerstad as one of dozens of available talents. Fangraphs’ Eric Longenhagen was ranked highest and ranked seventh.
Most agree with the profile here. Kjerstad is seen as a solid right fielder with great potential at the plate. He was playing with high-end college pitches (.448 / .513 / .791) when the 2020 season was suspended. There are some concerns about his complicated swing and propensity to hit, but obviously the consensus is that Kjerstad will become a player. quality offensive at the highest level of the game.