Branden Kline

Position: RHRP
Level: Double-A
Affiliate: Frederick Keys
League: Eastern 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 has been one of the biggest risers in Baltimore’s system this year. Finally healthy after missing all of 2016 and 2017 with injury, he pitched his way to Double-A Bowie and finished 2018 as the team’s closer. His power fastball touches the high-90s at best, sitting comfortably at 94-to-96 mph. A loose high three-quarters arm-stroke gets quality extension, generating late ride that blows by barrels up in the zone. Kline throws strikes with his fastball, keeping it over the plate and projecting to have average control for a reliever. There’s less actual in-zone command, but he has the velocity to afford some margin for error over the plate. Kline dominates hitters with his fastball, and won’t mix many off-speed pitches until the opposition shows they’re on the heater. His high-80s slider was a fringy pitch with one-plane cut action early in the year, showing improved action and depth by season’s end. It’s still a bit inconsistent, as his better sliders often fall out of the zone.

Barring any unexpected setbacks, the power-armed righty should reach the big leagues sometime in 2019. His ceiling is a setup reliever with a plus fastball and above-average slider. Kline’s profile carries some risk given the injury history, but the O’s second-rounder in 2012 has come out of nowhere this year to position himself as a future ‘pen piece.