The Orioles have officially signed their top draft choice, and the No. 2 overall pick in the MLB Draft, Heston Kjerstad.
The team announced the move just after noon on Tuesday.
According to Jim Callis, Kjerstad’s contract is worth $5.2 million, which is below the slot value of $7,789,900 the pick was valued at.
No. 2 overall pick Heston Kjerstad signs with @Orioles for $5.2 million (slot value = $7,789,900). Arkansas OF, best lefty power hitter in @MLBDraft, long track record of production, big pop & solid arm fit RF profile very well.— Jim Callis (@jimcallisMLB) June 30, 2020
Kjerstad slashed a career .343/.421/.590 with 37 career home runs at Arkansas and played mostly in right field. He slugged 37 home runs in his career, which spanned 150 games. Orioles general manager Mike Elias said Kjerstad was the best left-handed hitter in the country.
Kjerstad, 21, slashed .448/.513/.791 with five doubles, six home runs, 19 runs, and 20 RBI in 16 games during his shortened junior season. He led the Razorbacks in batting average, hits, home runs, RBI, total bases (53), on-base percentage, and slugging percentage.
“This (Kjerstad) is a middle-of-the-order bat profile for us and we felt he was the best left-handed hitter in the country this year,” Elias said after Kjerstad’s selection. “This is somebody who’s going to hit for power and average and hit in the middle of our order for a long time while playing a quality right field defense.”
The Orioles signed 30th overall pick Jordan Westburg and 39th overall pick Hudson Haskin over the weekend, meaning the Orioles have now signed all but one — Ole Miss shortstop Anthony Servideo — of their draft picks from this class.
Servideo was the 74th overall pick in the draft. The slot value for that pick is $844,000.
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