With the first overall pick in the 2019 MLB Draft, the Orioles selected catcher Adley Rutschman out Oregon State. Rutschman is the rare draft prospect that not only stands out at the plate, but also stands to be a plus defender at a premium position in catcher. Adley is a switch-hitter who has the ability to hit for average and power from both sides of the plate. Combine that with an advanced approach at the plate and he is an offensive force that would play at any position, let alone at one that isn’t exactly known for offensive standouts. Adley was on a mission at the plate despite all of the attention on him while slashing .427/.584/.772 in 52 games for Oregon State and walking nearly twice as much as he struck out.
However, one does not need to settle for just his offensive game as he is a really strong defender behind the plate. He has quick reflexes, good feet, and a quick release paired with a strong throwing. While he isn’t going to challenge for any stolen base titles, his pure athleticism shows up on the basepaths to the point where he can hold his own as a baserunner despite playing a position not exactly known for the fleet of foot.
All the #Pac12BSB awards for Adley!— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) May 29, 2019
Congrats to @BeaverBaseball star Adley Rutschman on being named Pac-12 Player of the Year, Co-Defensive Player of the Year and the 2019 batting champion. https://t.co/D3pjcfSC7V pic.twitter.com/toaDyy8w9L
Rutschman was the prohibitive to be the #1 overall pick since folks began to talk about the 2019 draft class. In many cases, players with that distinction get nitpicked apart and struggle with the attention that designation comes with. Instead, Rutschman excelled and posted career highs in homers, batting average, OPS, and basically every other offensive category. With his all-around game, he was a man amongst boys in the college ranks and most definitely has the ceiling as one of the best catchers in all of baseball.