Orioles select Oregon State catcher Rutschman with top overall pick

June 03, 2019 | WNST Staff


The Baltimore Orioles tonight announced that they have selected catcher Adley Rutschman from Oregon State University with the first overall selection of the 2019 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.

Rutschman, 21, hit .411/.575/.751 (76-for-185) with 10 doubles, 17 home runs, 57 runs, 58 RBI, and 76 walks in 57 games during his junior season. He guided Oregon State to their 20th NCAA Tournament appearance in program history. His .575 on-base percentage and 76 walks led all of Division I. During the regular season, he led the PAC-12 Conference in batting average, on-base percentage, and walks, and tied for the conference lead in slugging percentage. He was named the 2019 PAC-12 Player of the Year, PAC-12 Co-Defensive Player of the Year, All-PAC-12 First-Team, and PAC-12 All-Academic Honorable Mention. Rutschman was also named the 2019 Collegiate Baseball Player of the Year as well as a Collegiate Baseball First-Team All-American. He is one of four finalists for the 2019 Golden Spikes Award, which honors the top amateur baseball player in the nation. He was ranked as the No. 1 overall draft prospect by Baseball America and MLB.com. He has been named a finalist for the 2019 Buster Posey National Collegiate Catcher of the Year Award and a Semifinalist for the 2019 Dick Howser Trophy, regarded by many as college baseball’s most prestigious award.

As a sophomore in 2018, Rutschman helped lead Oregon State to their third NCAA Championship. He was named the College World Series Most Outstanding Player and set a College World Series record with 17 hits. For the season, Rutschman hit .408/.505/.628 (102-for-250) with 22 doubles, three triples, nine home runs, 56 runs, 83 RBI, and 53 walks in 67 games. He set the Oregon State single-season record with 102 hits and 83 RBI. Rutschman was named a D1Baseball.com and American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) First-Team All-American. He was also honored as a Second-Team All-American by Baseball America and Perfect Game, and a Third-Team All-American by National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) and Collegiate Baseball. He was named to the All-PAC-12 First Team, PAC-12 All-Defensive Team, and a PAC-12 All-Academic Honorable Mention. Rutschman was a Dick Howser Trophy and Johnny Bench Award Semifinalist.

As a true freshman in 2017, Rutschman was named All-PAC-12 Conference Honorable Mention. He played a part in Oregon State making their sixth College World Series appearance, at the time, and was named to the Corvallis Regional All-Tournament Team. He played in 61 games, making 56 starts, while recording 10 extra-base hits and 33 RBI. Rutschman also played for the Beavers football team his freshman year, serving as a placekicker on kickoffs, averaging 59.5 yards per kick and recording 20 touchbacks.

A native of Portland, Ore., Rutschman was a three-year letterwinner at Sherwood High School. He was named the 2016 Oregon Gatorade Player of the Year, and Baseball Northwest ranked him as the No. 2 high school player in the state of Oregon during his senior year. He was a three-time All-State (two first and one second team) player and a three-time First-Team All-League player.

The 2019 First-Year Player Draft marks the second time in Orioles history the club has had the first overall selection in the MLB Draft, with RHP Ben McDonald in 1989 being the first. Rutschman becomes the first catcher selected No. 1 overall since 2001 when Joe Mauer was selected by the Minnesota Twins. He is the first catcher selected by the Orioles in the first round of the MLB Draft since Matt Wieters (No. 5 overall) in 2007.

This is the second time in the last nine years the Orioles have used their first selection on a position player, selecting OF DJ Stewart in 2015. Since the 2010 Draft, four of the Orioles first selections have reached the Major Leagues: Manny Machado (2010), Dylan Bundy (2011), Kevin Gausman (2012), and Stewart (2015). It is the second consecutive year the Orioles have selected a player from Oregon State, taking Rutschman’ s former teammate INF Cadyn Grenier with the No. 37 overall pick in the 2018 First-Year Player Draft.

The Orioles selected infielder Gunnar Henderson with the 42nd selection and outfielder Kyle Stowers with the 71st selection in the 2019 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.

Henderson, 17, was named the Alabama Gatorade State Player of the Year in 2019 after hitting .559/.641/1.225 (57-for-102) with 17 doubles, nine triples, 11 home runs, 69 runs, 75 RBI, and 28 stolen bases in 32 games for John T. Morgan Academy in Selma, Ala. He helped lead the Senators to the 2019 Alabama Independent Schools Association Class AAA State Championship Series. He was named to the 2019 Rawlings-Perfect Game Preseason All-American First Team and Southeast-All Region First Team. Perfect Game ranked Henderson as the No. 1 player in the state of Alabama in 2019. As a junior, he was named to the 2018 Rawlings-Perfect Game Preseason All-American First Team. He started in the 2018 Under Armour All-American Game. He was also named a Rawlings-Perfect Game Preseason All-American Honorable Mention in 2017. Henderson was a three-year letterwinner in basketball and a one-year letterwinner in football. He was ranked as the No. 27 overall draft prospect by MLB.com and No. 30 by Baseball America.

Stowers, 21, batted .304/.370/.513 (58-for-191) with 17 doubles, seven home runs, 35 runs, and 35 RBI in 49 games for Stanford University during his junior season. He was named to the 2019 Baseball America Preseason First-Team All-America. As a sophomore, he was a 2018 All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention and finished second on the team in home runs (10), slugging percentage (.510), and RBI (42) while starting in all 58 games. Following the season, he ranked as the No. 14 prospect in the Cape Cod League after hitting .326/361/.565 with six home runs in 34 games for the Falmouth Commodores. A graduate of Christian High School in El Cajon, Calif., Stowers helped lead the team to two league championships and one state title, and he was twice named First-Team All-California Interscholastic Federation. He was ranked as the No. 78 overall draft prospect by MLB.com and the No. 102 prospect by Baseball America.

The Draft will continue Tuesday, June 4, on MLB.com with rounds 3-10, beginning at 1:05 p.m., and conclude on Wednesday, June 5, on MLB.com with rounds 11-40 starting at 12:05 p.m.