Heston Kjerstad

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Heston Sawyer Kjerstad

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Biographical Information[edit]

Outfielder Heston Kjerstad was the second overall pick in the 2020 amateur draft, by the Baltimore Orioles. While Kjerstad was one of the top-rated college players in the country, the pick was considered a surprise as almost all observers had expected Spencer Torkelson and Austin Martin to be the first two players selected, with the Orioles taking whichever of the two the Detroit Tigers hadn't plucked with the first pick. However, after the Bengals had taken Torkelson, the Orioles selected Kjerstad, who was described as the best left-handed power hitter in the draft.

Coming out of high school, Kjerstad had been drafted in the 36th round by the Seattle Mariners in 2017, but elected to attend college at the University of Arkansas instead. He hit .332 with 16 doubles and 14 homers as a freshman in 2018, and .327 with 17 homers as a sophomore the next year. His 14 homers in 2018 set the school record for a freshman. That year, his team made it to the final game of the 2018 College World Series, where they lost to Oregon State University - led by Adley Rutschman, the Orioles' top pick in the 2019 amateur draft. When the coronavirus pandemic brought the 2020 season to a premature end, Heston was hitting a scorching .448 with 6 homers in 16 games, only confirming his status as one of the top college players in the country. He was a high school teammate of Grayson Rodriguez, another top Orioles prospect, and played at Arkansas with yet another member of the Baltimore system, Blaine Knight.

Further Reading[edit]

  • Joe Trezza: "O's shock at No. 2 with 'favorite bat' Kjerstad: Club chooses Mississippi State SS Westburg 30th overall", mlb.com, June 11, 2020. [1]

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