The Baltimore Orioles stuck to the projections and selected Oregon State catcher Adley Rutschman, the top prospect in the draft, with the first overall pick
The Baltimore Orioles hope they’ve found their catcher of the future.
The Orioles made catcher Adley Rutschman, a junior from Oregon State, the first overall pick of the 2019 MLB Draft on Monday. Rutschman is the first catcher to go No. 1 overall since Joe Mauer in 2001.
Rutschman came into the draft ranked as the best prospect by MLB Pipeline and as the expected top pick. The 21-year-old hit .408 with nine home runs and 83 RBI in 67 games in his second season at Oregon State in 2018.
He also emerged as the star of the College World Series, leading the Beavers to their third championship in school history and first since 2007. He set the series record with 17 hits and was named Most Valuable Player.
Rutschman, 6’2″ and 216 pounds, is a switch-hitter with plenty of power from both sides of the plate. MLB Pipeline gives him a 60 out of 80 ranking in both hitting and power.
“He has an advanced approach at the plate, walking more than he’s struck out at Oregon State, with the ability to make consistent, hard contact and drive the ball from both sides of the plate,” his scouting report reads.
Rutschman was originally drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the 40th round in 2016 out of high school in Sherwood, Ore., but he did not sign with Seattle in order to play at Oregon State. In addition to baseball, Rutschman was also the kicker on the Beavers’ football team.
This is the first time the Orioles have had the first overall pick since taking Ben McDonald in 1989. They could use Rutschman’s presence behind the plate. The club hasn’t had a catcher record more than 60 RBI since Matt Wieters in 2016.
Like Rutschman, Wieters was also a switch-hitting catcher the Orioles drafted fifth overall in 2007. He went on to have a solid eight-year career in Baltimore. The Orioles, though, should have more expectations out of their newest player.