Cavalier Corner

June 2013

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cavalier profile Branden Kline Alum • Baseball Former Virginia right-hander Branden Kline, now one of the top prospects for the Baltimore Orioles, made his 2013 minor league debut by pitching in his home state in front of family and friends. The 21-year-old Kline made his full-season debut for the low Class A Delmarva Shorebirds, a member of the South Atlantic League based in Salisbury, Md., on the eastern shore, a drive of nearly four hours from his home in western Maryland. Delmarva was the logical step for Kline this season, after he was taken in the second round of the 2012 MLB Draft by the Orioles and made his pro debut with short-season Class A Aberdeen in the New York-Penn League. Kline allowed no runs and just two hits in six innings, but came away with a no-decision April 7. "It was a good outing," said Kline, who pitched in front of his parents, stepmother and grandparents. "I had good command of my fastball." Kline pitched in four games with Aberdeen last season and began this year as the No. 9 prospect in the Baltimore system, according to Baseball America. The Orioles made some minor changes in his delivery once he turned pro. "They wanted me to stand all of the way up," said Kline, who was 1-2 with a 5.68 ERA in five starts for the Shorebirds through May 2. "They wanted me to find a tempo, find a constant tempo. Sometimes my leg lift would be high and sometimes it would be low." Kline was drafted in the sixth round by the Boston Red Sox out of high school in 2009, but was committed to play for the Cavaliers. He fell in love with the Charlottesville campus during one of his several recruiting trips as a student at Thomas Johnson High in Frederick, Md. "I was dead set on going to college," said Kline, who had 18 saves in 2011 and then was 7-3 as a starter in 2012 for the Cavaliers. If he pitches well, the next step up the Oriole ladder is high Class A Frederick, which does not faze him. "I think it will be a normal situation," he said of playing in his hometown. "It is the same game." What does he need to do to move up the Baltimore ladder? "Stay healthy and get people out," Kline said. "You can only control things you can control." — David Driver ◆ Photo by Joey Garder/FotoJoe

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