With the 30th pick in the 2020 MLB Draft, the Orioles have selected Mississippi State infielder Jordan Westburg.
The selection of Westburg fully encompasses the definition of being a high ceiling pick. There are also a lot of unknowns surrounding the shortstop and his future in affiliated ball.
Westburg is a very solid defender who has shown impressive skills on the left side of the infield. His footwork isn’t extremely smooth, but it’s certainly not a liability, either. Meanwhile, his glovework is quick and fluid, and he transitions from a fielding position to throwing motion with ease. He also possesses above-average speed, so he could be an underrated asset of a team’s baserunning presence.
Contact is the biggest concern for the 21-year-old. However, he has proven that his skills at the plate can be altered. After posting a terrible strikeout rate as a freshman in college, he was benched for several games in a row so he could focus solely on improving his swing. His numbers improved to a point where it became apparent that with time and determination, his extreme woes could disappear and he could possess a future as a strong hitter.
Another question mark surrounding Westburg is his positioning, which isn’t an uncommon concern for infielders who fit the same build. As of now, it appears that Westburg will stick at shortstop. However, there has also been talk about him switching to third base if he gains more weight and size. While doing so would hamper his baserunning abilities and surely impact his work in the field, it could drastically improve his efforts at the plate to a point where he becomes a team’s top slugger. (Keep in mind that second base hasn’t been ruled out, either.)