1. Keegan Akin, LHP
After dealing with injuries in 2017, Baltimore Orioles pitching prospect Keegan Akin has been outstanding with the Double-A Bowie Baysox in 2018.
Akin, 23, is the ace of the Baysox’s pitching staff with an 8-5 record and a 2.53 ERA through 81 1/3 innings pitched in 14 starts.
The lefty began the season scorching hot with an awe-inspiring five-game stretch from April 19 to May 11 when he went 4-1 with a 1.48 ERA and a .173 opponent batting average. Also in the five consecutive starts, Akin didn’t allow more than two runs in each start.
His 87 strikeouts on the season lead the Eastern League and have two games with more than 10 strikeouts including a 12 strikeout performance on May 1 in the Baysox’s 6-1 win over Double-A Erie.
His other superb start came on May 27 when struck out 10 batters through seven shutout innings and allowed two hits. Per Michael Avallone of MiLB.com, Akin is the first Baysox pitcher to record two double-digit strikeout performances in a single season since Mike Ballard in 2011.
In a starting rotation flooded with right-handed pitchers, Akin could bring something the Orioles haven’t had in their rotation since southpaw Wade Miley. Lastly, Akin is ranked by MLB Pipeline as the Orioles No. 6 prospect, advancing two spots from the 2017 rankings.