The Orioles handed out $100,000 or more to 12 pitchers from the 2009 draft class. Of those 12, eight are starting pitchers. And of those eight, David Baker has been the most impressive.
Baker, a 6′ 4″, 195 pound righty, has turned heads on a national level this year after coming back strong after a 2010 season cut short due to appendix surgery.
His 91-95 mph fastball and above-average slider were too much for New York Penn League hitters to handle (23 Ks in 25.2 NYPL innings), and he received a promotion to Delmarva after just three starts with the IronBirds. His production stayed steady with the Shorebirds, as he went on to post a 2.82 ERA with 48 strikeouts and just 19 walks in 54.1 IP.
I ranked Baker my #24 prospect on my mid-season list, and that was before I received positive reports and his promotion to Delmarva. He’ll be a top 20 prospect on ON’s end-of-season list.