The Baltimore Orioles on Monday made Oregon State catcher Adley Rutschman the top overall pick of . The selection was a not surprise, as the 21-year-old switch-hitter is by a sturdy consensus the top talent available.
Rutschman in his junior season for the Beavers has batted .419/.580/.765 with 17 home runs in 55 games and 73 walks against 37 strikeouts. That comes on the heels of a similarly impressive sophomore season. Following a disappointing freshman campaign for Oregon State, Rutschman rebuilt his swing, and he’s been among the best hitters in college baseball ever since — a tantalizing mix of power, the ability to hit for average, and advanced plate discipline.
Rutschman also profiles as a standout defensive catcher. He has a powerful throwing arm behind the plate, blocks pitches well, has advanced framing skills, and handles pitchers with a confidence beyond his years. Given that he’s thrived against major-conference competition and has no real weaknesses, he should move quickly through the Orioles system.
Here’s some scouting footage of Rutschman from earlier this season:
As for signing Rutschman, the Orioles have a total 2019 signing bonus pool of $13,821,300, and the top overall pick this year has an assigned slot value of $8,415,300.
For the Orioles, Rutschman becomes their first No. 1 overall pick since they took right-hander Ben McDonald in the top spot back in 1989. Rutschman is also the first catcher to go No. 1 overall since Joe Mauer in 2001, and he’s the first college catcher to go No. 1 since Danny Goodwin in 1975.
You can keep tabs on every first-round selection with.