Orioles draft Heston Kjerstad with No. 2 pick


FILE – In this Feb. 28, 2020, file photo, Arkansas outfielder Heston Kjerstad (18) swings at a pitch during an NCAA baseball game against Oklahoma, in Houston. Kjerstad is expected to be an early selection in the Major League Baseball draft. (AP Photo/Matt Patterson, File)

BALTIMORE, Md. (WDVM) — The Orioles drafted Heston Kjerstad out of the University of Arkansas with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 MLB Draft Wednesday night.

“I’m just excited to be a part of Birdland now and embark on my next journey of professional baseball,” said Kjerstad to the media via Zoom after being drafted. “Right now I’m just stoked to be a part of the Orioles, and it’s a dream come true for me.”

The 21 year old from Amarillo, TX, was originally drafted out of high school by the Seattle Mariners before choosing to go play for the Razorbacks.

Through 150 games in his college career, Kjerstad (pronounced KERR-stad) had 37 home runs and 129 RBIs. He was the 2018 SEC Freshman of the Year, the same year he helped lead Arkansas to the College World Series.

The Orioles on Twitter shared a video of Orioles executive vice president and general manager, Mike Elias, talking about what Kjerstad adds to their farm system. “We absolutely love this bat. He’s the best left-handed hitter in the country this year,” said Elias. “He’s a big guy with gigantic power, and it’s power to all fields. It’s not just pull power.”

The Orioles also had pick No. 30 in the first round of the draft where they selected infielder Jordan Westburg out of out of Mississippi State.

Rounds 2-5 of the 2020 MLB Draft conclude Thursday night. The orioles will pick in each round at Nos. 39, 74, 103, and 133.

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