Branden Kline

Position: RHRP
Level: Double-A
Affiliate: Frederick Keys
League: Carolina League
Born: 09/29/1991 (Age: 26)
Height: 6'3''
Weight: 210
B/T: Right / Right
Acquired: 2nd Rd., 2012 MLB First Year Player Draft (BAL)

Prospect Spotlight

Kline fell off the prospect radar by missing the last two seasons. He underwent Tommy John surgery in October of 2015 that required an additional procedure in March of last year. The live-armed righty has generated positive buzz early in 2018, finally looking healthy and showing the type of premium velocity that made him a second-rounder out of the University of Virginia in 2012. Pitching from a well-paced semi-windup, Kline gets through his delivery athletically and with little effort down the mound. Despite this, his long arm-circle wraps badly behind his body and is likely the culprit behind his two years of arm injuries.  Kline has sat around 94-to-95 mph with his fastball this spring, touching as high as 97. He generates velocity easily, and while there is limited lateral movement to the pitch, the fluidity of his arm-stroke generates natural acceleration and burst through the zone. He’s shaking the rust off a changeup at 83-84 and a mid-80s slider, both showing modest movement at present.

What’s most important is that Kline is healthy again and throwing free and easy. It’s tough to slap a long-term role on a guy that hasn’t thrown an official pitch in over 24 months, but prospect watchers should keep an eye on Kline this season as a bounce back candidate. Baltimore is excited to bring him back into the fold, as his frame, armspeed, and fastball are certainly of big league quality.