The Orioles have come to terms with their fifth round selection (159th overall), right-hander Jake Arrieta. The 21 year old was 9-3 with a 3.01 ERA and a 93:50 K:BB ratio in his junior season at Texas Christian University. This followed a much more impressive sophomore campaign in which Arrieta went 14-4 with a 2.35 ERA and a 111:37 K:BB ratio and starred for Team USA. His signing bonus, pending a physical, is expected to be well above MLB slot recommendations at around $1 million.
Arrieta was considered to be a top 20 talent in the draft as late as this spring. At the time of the draft, the 6-4 225 lb. pitcher was considered by most talent evaluators to be worthy of a supplemental first round pick, but he fell due to his perceived bonus demands. The Orioles jumped at the chance to draft Arrieta when he fell to the fifth round, since they lacked a second and third round pick and took a player in the first round that they knew would be tough to sign.
Arrieta throws an 89-91 MPH fastball that touched 93 MPH this season. His velocity was down from 2006, when his fastball was consistently in the low-90's. His curveball is his primary breaking ball and sits in the mid-70's. Both his slider/cutter and his changeup sit around 80 MPH. Arrieta projects as a durable mid-rotation starter in the big leagues and is regarded as a relatively safe pick to reach his ceiling.
Michael Hollman is the Senior Writer for Inside The Warehouse and can be reached via email at Publisher@InsideTheWarehouse.com