Roch Around The Clock

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June 17, 2006|By ROCH KUBATKO

The Orioles' No. 1 pick in this year's draft, third baseman Bill Rowell, is expected to agree to terms during the next homestand.

The team continues to hold discussions with agent Gregg Clifton, who also represents Kris Benson and B.J. Surhoff. One team official said Rowell is "ready to go" and just waiting to sign.

Dean Albany, who scouted Rowell, said the infielder reminds him of Mark Teixeira.

"He hits them just like [Teixeira] used to hit them," Albany said.

Rowell seems to be the total package. He's big, strong and runs the 60-yard dash in 6.7 seconds.

"He's got everything going for him," Albany said. "It's not hard to like him."

Albany suggests that I watch Rowell take batting practice.

The way Rowell drives the ball, "you won't be able to tell the difference between him and the big leaguers," Albany said. "He'll hit them off the warehouse. I can't wait until you see him. He's a specimen. There's big power there. Even when he hits a fly ball, it's so high. It's like when [Miguel] Tejada hits them."

You've heard of basketball players being gym rats. Rowell is the baseball equivalent, a kid who has a batting cage in his house and has to be dragged out of it.

"He'll be hitting at 1, 2 in the morning," Albany said. "He just loves to hit."

roch.kubatko@baltsun.com

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