OSU officially announces Mitch Canham as new baseball manager

OSU officially announces Mitch Canham as new baseball manager

It was reported earlier in the day on Thursday that the Oregon State baseball program would hire former start player Mitch Canham as its new head coach. 

That hire is no longer a rumor, it's official. 

Canham was the catcher for the back-to-back national championship Beavers teams in 2006 and 2007.

Canham has not coached college baseball, but he was a coach in the Mariners farm system for the past four seasons. In January of this year, he was announced as the new head coach of the Double-A Arkansas Travelers. The Travelers were 42-21 under Canham this season, the best record in the Texas League. 

When it was announced earlier this month that former manager Pat Casey would not step back into the dugout, the Beavers launched a full search for their next head coach. In Canham, they didn't have to look far. 

The following is from the official Oregon State Press Release: 

"What an incredible day and a dream come true," said Canham. "Since stepping on the OSU campus in the summer of 2002, I felt a part of the Beaver family. The baseball program, Corvallis community, athletic department, faculty, donors, and fans have been a huge part in transforming my life and helping me become the man I am today.

"I am eager to get back to Oregon State University and do OUR family of Beaver Nation proud. Coach Casey and everyone who has been involved over the years have created such a wonderful and life-changing program, and I look forward to not only continuing in this fine tradition, but helping the program grow even more. I want to thank Scott Barnes, the selection committee, and President Ray for this opportunity to lead the men of Oregon State's baseball program. 
"I am also forever grateful to the Seattle Mariners and a great mentor in Andy McKay. He and the Mariners  gave me the opportunity to learn while coaching their players."

Stayed locked into NBC Sports Northwest for all the latest news.

 

Adley Rutschman wins 2019 Golden Spikes Award

Adley Rutschman wins 2019 Golden Spikes Award

The good times keep rolling for Adley Rutschman. After being selected as the No. 1 MLB Draft pick (to the Baltimore Orioles last Monday), Rutschman now adds Golden Spike Winner, a prestigious college baseball award for the top amateur baseball player in the nation.

Coming into today’s vote, Rutschman was the fan favorite:

Rutschman won the award over JJ Bleday (Vanderbilt), Noah Song (Navy), and Andrew Vaughn (CAL), and becomes the first player from Oregon State to win the award.

TWEET- OSU

TWEET- GSA

Talk about quite the career for the Junior catcher. 

In the hit TV series Game of Thrones, one must introduce oneself with his or her accolade. If Rutschman starred in GoT, he would have to introduce himself as such:

I am Adley Rutschman, first of my house, the Pac-12 Player of the Year, Baseball America National Player of the Year, D1Baseball.com National Player of  the Year, Perfect Game Player of the Year, Collegiate Baseball Player of the Year, the 2019 No. 1 MLB Draft pick, Golden Spikes Award winner, hereby sentence you to death.

Just kidding on that last part… Rutschman is a humble and respectable both person and player and wouldn’t hurt a fly.

Congrats, Clutchman!

Mariners' official on Mitch Canham: "Our loss is definitely OSU's gain"

Mariners' official on Mitch Canham: "Our loss is definitely OSU's gain"

Oregon State University reached into its past Thursday, naming Mitch Canham its new head baseball coach, according to multiple sources and first reported by Kendall Rogers of D1 Baseball.

Canham replaces former coach Pat Casey and interim coach Pat Bailey, who ran the team the past season after Casey stepped away following the team’s national championship run in 2018.

Canham has been the manager of the Seattle Mariners’ Double-A team in the Texas League, the Arkansas Travelers, this season.

“We couldn’t be happier for Mitch and his family," said the Mariners' Director of Player Development Andy McKay. "Oregon State has a made a great hire and we look forward to seeing Mitch lead the Beavers and represent the Pacific Northwest and his Alma Mater at the Division 1 level. Our loss is definitely OSU’s gain.

“Thank you Mitch for being a constant reminder to all of us that excellence is always the result of focusing on, and trying to help, other people.”

Canham was the catcher for OSU’s national-championship teams in 2006 and 2007 and then was the 57th overall pick of the San Diego Padres in the 2007 Major League Baseball draft. He came to OSU from Lake Stevens, Wash., where he was a three-sport prep star.

Canham has never coached college baseball but was considered an up-and-coming managerial prospect in professional ball. Bailey and pitching coach Nate Yeskie were also candidates for the job.

 

(more to come)

Oregon State football recruiting: The Dam just got bigger and stronger

Oregon State football recruiting: The Dam just got bigger and stronger

Let’s catch you up on the latest recruiting news to come out of Corvallis, Oregon overt the weekend. 

Kyrei Fisher

Linebacker / Tulsa, Oklahoma

Arkansas Transfer

6’2” 225 pounds

Fisher committed to Arkansas straight out of high school (Union High School, Oklahoma) before landing at Trinity C.C. for a hot second and now finds himself in orange and black all the way west. The 6’2” linebacker had offers from Kansas, Michigan State, Colorado, Minnesota, and others before committing to Jonathan Smith and the Dam. 

He will join a very young and hungry linebacker crew lead by just two seniors and three redshirt juniors.  

Tavis Shippen

JUCO Product (Mt. San Jacinto College)

Defensive Lineman / Murrieta, California

6”5” 275 pounds

If Oregon State is to have a better season in 2019, it must start at the defensive line. The Beavers took a step in that direction with Tavis Shippen announcing his commitment. Shippen is the No. 3 rated defensive lineman in JUCO as well as No. 15 overall. He is the highest rated JUCO prospect the Beavers have landed since CB Stephen Nelson in 2013.

Nahshon Wright

JUCO Product (Laney College)

Corner / East Palo Alto, California

6’4” 175 pounds

The highly sought after Wright committed to Oregon State over Boise State and Colorado amongst others. Wright brings both size and speed to the DB unit for the Beavers. A 6’4” corner who can go up and challenge the height of opposing receivers is huge, especially when Stanford rolls into Corvallis and runs their ever-famous fade route to a lengthy tight end in the corner of the end zone. Wright will be the tallest DB heading into this season for Oregon State. 

The elusive James Rodgers is back in orange and black

The elusive James Rodgers is back in orange and black

Looking back at the history of Oregon State football in the late 2000’s, one of the big storylines was the Rodgers brothers. 

James and Jacquizz Rodgers were standout players of the Oregon State Beavers between 2007–2010. Both electrifying and both oh so dangerous in the open field. One brother pounding the ball up the middle; the other stretching the field wide due to his strong hands and constant deep threat. 

And now, Beaver fans get to welcome back James to the Oregon State football coaching staff, per head coach Jonathan Smith. 

At Oregon State, Rodgers set the Beavers’ record for all purpose yards (6,377) as well as the first player to reach 1,000 rushing and 2,000 receiver yards in his career. After college, he signed in the 2012 NFL Draft as a free agent with the Atlanta Falcons where he bounced back and forth from the practice squad and also being waived. Rodgers was then signed to the Montreal Alouettes (CFL) practice squad in August 2014.

Fun fact: Rodgers joined Mike Riley’s (his head coach back at Oregon State) staff in 2018 with the San Antonio Commanders (AAF) originally to coach the running backs but then was switched to outside linebackers.

Welcome back to Reser Stadium, James!

The making of a No. 1 pick: Adley Rutschman's journey to pro ball

The making of a No. 1 pick: Adley Rutschman's journey to pro ball

So somebody told Sherwood High School baseball coach Jon Strohmaier several years ago that he should go watch this little kid play ball. “You’ve got to see this kid,” he was told.

Prep coaches get that kind of thing a lot, but Strohmaier, who has won a couple of state championships at the school and is considered one of the best at his craft in Oregon, decided he wanted a look at the youngster.

“It was the first time I saw him,” Strohmaier said. “He was about eight or nine years old. I think he drew a four-pitch walk. And then on the first pitch, he stole second. On the second pitch, he stole third. And then on the next pitch he came about halfway down the third-base line, the catcher threw to third and then he walked home.

“And that was my first Adley Rutschman impression.”

The professional baseball world is about to get its first impression of Rutschman very soon. For now, the switch-hitting Oregon State catcher whom the Baltimore Orioles took with the No.1 pick in the first-year player draft, is just trying to get a million things done so he can sign a contract with the Orioles and get on with a career that will likely start in the low minors.

“I’ve been involved in sports all my life and had multiple kids sign and play pro baseball but when it’s your own kid, it’s kind of overwhelming,” said Adley’s father, Randy, who has been a high school and college coach. “The texts and phone calls – and for Adley, it’s 10 times more.

“It’s been a whirlwind. And trying to manage everything. He’s going to be back in Omaha for the Dick Howser and the Golden Spikes (awards, for which he’s a finalist), that ceremony, and moving out of his house in Corvallis. So trying to figure out how to get school finished, sign a contract with Baltimore – and he has to move out of his house. The baseball part is probably the least overwhelming.”

Adley Rutschman is a switch-hitter who throws right-handed, writes left-handed, famously kicks a football with his left foot. And his father says he never encouraged the whole switch-hitting thing.

“First of all,” Randy said, “I can’t remember ever saying, 'Adley let’s go out and hit.' He was a self-generated type. If I ever have to have Tommy John surgery, it’s because of him. I have a bucket of balls sitting down here right now.

“When he got back from the (College World Series) I knew it would be just a matter of 12 hours before he’d want to go hit. I had the balls sitting there. Twelve hours and he was going to go hit.

“And if he happens to make his way up here this weekend, I know he’s going to say, let’s go out and hit.

“When he was young he would hit right-handed, but he’d turn around once in a while and hit left-handed and it was really a good-looking swing. The first time he hit left-handed in a game he was a third grader and he asked me if it would be OK to hit left-handed. And I said, ‘Heck yeah.’ He went out there and just about tore the pitcher’s head off with a line drive.

“Every year he would hit a couple of times left-handed. His freshman year in high school he hurt his elbow and it hurt to hit right-handed, so the whole freshman year he hit lefty. That really moved him out of his comfort zone. He became very comfortable hitting lefty. I don’t think he would have been a switch-hitter today if he wouldn’t have had that fracture in his elbow. It forced him to become comfortable left-handed.”

Strohmaier utilized Rutschman all over the diamond at Sherwood.

“He played JV his freshman year, we were pretty good,” said the high school coach. “He had some arm issues his sophomore year and I used him at third base. His junior year, if I remember correctly, he did a lot of DH-ing because his arm was bothering him.

“Towards the end of his junior year, he started throwing a little bit for us and we used him as a closer. His senior year he caught a lot. We kind of put him all over the place -- whatever was best for the team -- and we moved him up to leadoff hitter because we wanted him to get as many plate appearances as he could.”

To his everlasting credit, Strohmaier knew how much money Rutschman’s throwing arm might be worth someday and didn’t abuse it. And it’s turned out that one of the catcher’s biggest attributes is his throwing ability from behind the plate.

“I guess what I would consider my claim to fame with him is that I kind of babied his arm in high school,” Strohmaier said. “I realized there were bigger and better things to come and he had some arm issues in high school.”

That said, there was no way at that point that anyone would forecast the kid from Sherwood High going No. 1 in the draft.

“Not a clue,” Strohmaier said. “I knew during his junior year, especially when he got on the mound and was throwing 94, I knew I had a Division-1 kid, if that’s the route he wanted to go.

“I never expected he might be a No. 1 pick.”

His father credits Oregon State’s coaching staff and former head man Pat Casey with a lot of his son’s personal growth.

“When we sent him off to Oregon State, I really took my hands off Adley,” Randy Rutschman said. “I really had a lot of faith in that coaching staff. And we saw a lot of growth in just the first three months he was there. Adley really grew up in that program. He’s a better kid for having been there.”

Of course, the young man has pretty good genes, as everyone knows by now.

His father is known as a terrific coach with a special talent for working with catchers. His grandfather, Ad, was a coaching and playing legend in Oregon who won national championships coaching football and baseball at Linfield.

Adley is represented by Beverly Hills Sports Council, a firm that has repped the likes of Barry Bonds, Mike Piazza, Trevor Hoffman, Albert Pujols and many others and they will be negotiating from a position of strength on Rutschman’s first contract. The slot value of the top pick this season has been set at $8,415,300 – so Adley may not be driving that 2014 Honda much longer.

Very soon, the young Rutschman will embark on his professional career. Normally, catchers take longer to get to the big leagues, because of the nuances they must learn in regard to handling a pitching staff and taking the physical abuse of the position while trying to hold their offense together.

But Strohmaier doesn’t think it will be long before he can turn on the TV and watch his former star.

“I think he will be in the big leagues in a couple of years,” Strohmaier said. “He’s just that special. You don’t get that caliber of kid who can hit for average from both sides of the plate, hit for power, he’s got the strong arm, he’s got the defensive ability. I think, barring injury, he’s going to be able to work his way through the system rather quickly.

“I just hope it’s not too quickly. I hope they bring him along at a good pace so he’s successful at whatever level he is. I hope they won’t rush him – which I’m sure they won’t.”

Since he was that little kid Strohmaier watched stealing his way around the bases, he’s almost always been the best player on the field at whatever level he’s played. And now he’ll soon be faced with the same challenge.

But he’s had some pretty good preparation.

MLB Draft Tracker: Where did the Oregon State Beavers land in the majors

MLB Draft Tracker: Where did the Oregon State Beavers land in the majors

The 2019 MLB Draft is in the books. A 40-round, three day event held in Secaucus, New Jersey. Players of college and high school aged stare at their phones for 72 hours waiting for a phone call to make their MLB dreams come true. 

Here is where the Oregon State Beavers found a new home:

BEAVERS

Rd 1 / Pick 1: Adley Rutschman - catcher (Baltimore Orioles)

First and foremost, Adley “Clutchman” Rutschman makes history. The junior catcher was selected No. 1 overall in the 2019 MLB Draft by the Baltimore Orioles. He joins Terry Baker (football, 1962) and Danny Mwanga (men’s soccer, 2010). 

The Pac-12 Player of the Year, Collegiate Baseball Player of the Year and a Golden Spikes Award finalist can now add No. 1 overall draft pick to his resume. 

Rd 2 / Pick 60: Beau Philip - shortstop (Atlanta Braves)

Rd 3 / Pick 80: Grant Gambrell - RHP (Kansas City Royals)

Rd 18 / Pick 537: Brandon Eisert - LHP  (Toronto Blue Jays)

Rd 21 / Pick 626: Bryce Fehmel - RHP (San Francisco Giants)

Rd 27 / Pick 803: Tyler Malone - IF/OF (San Diego Padres)

Rd 31 / Pick 935: Dylan Pearce - RHP (St. Louis Cardinals)

 

Former Beavers voting "Yes” for Nate Yeskie as next Oregon State head coach

Former Beavers voting "Yes” for Nate Yeskie as next Oregon State head coach

The players, or rather former Oregon State baseball stars, have spoken and are voting “Yes” for Yeskie. 

The search is on for the next great baseball coach at Oregon State University. With the news yesterday of former baseball great Pat Casey electing NOT to return to coach the Beavers, OSU athletic director Scott Barnes begins his search party for one of the most pristine positions that is all of collegiate baseball coaching.

Nate Yeskie, the 2017 Assistant Coach of the Year by D1Baseball.com and the Pitching Coach of the Year per Collegiate Baseball, is in his 11th season with the program in 2019, a year after helping the team to its third national championship, (according to his bio on osubeavers.com). 

This conversation all started with 2018 National Champion Cadyn Grenier (shortstop for the Beavers) when he took to twitter to advocate for Yeskie.

Other teammates then chimed in, including Trevor Larnach and Caleb Hamilton. 

https://twitter.com/trevorlarnach/status/1136276650994405376

Our own Dwight Jaynes gives his insight on who he thinks should be in consideration for this position:

Andrew Checketts: Andrew Checketts, the successful head coach at UC-Santa Barbara who has won 61 percent of his games in his eight seasons there, is an Oregon State grad who pitched three seasons for the Beavers after graduating from West Linn High School.

Scott Brosius: Senior director of player development for USA Baseball. Served for the past two seasons as a coach for the Seattle Mariners after a long career as head baseball coach at Division III Linfield, where he won a national championship in 2013. 

It’s no surprise that players are giving their input as to who they want leading their program. This also happened with Oregon football last season with the departing Willie Taggart (to Florida State) and the players voicing their opinion on wanting Mario Cristobal (then offensive line coach) to step into the head coaching position. 

Player voice works. Who better to know what’s best for the program then the players who will be learning directly from that head coach. 

Only time will tell. Let the search begin.

Scott Brosius has not been contacted but "would listen" to UO, OSU

Scott Brosius has not been contacted but "would listen" to UO, OSU

Scott Brosius said Wednesday morning that he has not been contacted by either Oregon or Oregon State in regard to their vacant head-baseball-coach jobs.

But he said he would listen if they approached him.
“I enjoy the college game and I certainly and love being on the field and so it would be irresponsible of me to not pick up the phone if one of those schools called,” he said. "But I have not heard from them."

Brosius said he is very happy with his current job as senior director of player development for USA Baseball. He served for the past two seasons as a coach for the Seattle Mariners after a long career as head baseball coach at Division III Linfield, where he won a national championship in 2013. Brosius had an 11-year career in major-league baseball, winning a gold glove, being selected for the All-Star Game and winning a World Series MVP award with the New York Yankees.

He still lives in McMinnville and was a star at Putnam High School in Milwaukie.

Scott Brosius, Andrew Checketts should be on OSU list to follow a very tough act

Scott Brosius, Andrew Checketts should be on OSU list to follow a very tough act

The search is on at Oregon State. Pat Casey said Tuesday – according to athletic director Scott Barnes – that Casey will not return as the head baseball coach of the Beavers.

They will find another coach, but I’m not sure they will EVER replace Pat Casey. This was a huge loss for the school and the baseball program and it must be understood that there just aren’t a lot of coaches out there capable of doing what he did in Corvallis.

Three national championships? In the state of Oregon? In baseball?

I remain unconvinced that even one more national title is possible for the Beavers anytime soon.

Sure, you can find a coach who knows all about the game. You can find someone who is good with the players, knows all the right moves during a game and when to change pitchers – all of that stuff.

But I’m not sure how possible it’s going to be to find a coach with the dynamic personality, charisma and the charm that Casey brought to the job. And those qualities led to his uncanny ability to bring big-time, blue-chip prospects to that campus – which is probably the most important part of keeping that program in the national spotlight.

Casey’s talent as a recruiter is often overlooked. But make no mistake, it takes great players – big-league players – to win national championships. In the beginning, he won with a lot of elite local players – keeping them from heading south to more well-known national powers. He developed those players and turned them into pro prospects in some cases. But in recent years, he has drawn quality prospects from outside the Pacific Northwest.

Last season’s national-championship team featured three players drafted in the first round of the major-league draft last June and one who went No. 1 this year – along with a pitcher who could eventually be a first-round pick if his arm surgery turns out successfully. Only one of those players came from Oregon. And it’s hard to envision another national title at OSU without players of the quality of Nick Madrigal, Cadyn Grenier, Trevor Larnach, Adley Rutschman and Kevin Abel.

And that takes a great recruiter -- somebody so good that players will pass up a chance to grab the money and try pro ball out of high school but instead head to Beaverville for the promise of three seasons of growth, development and winning big.

Interim Coach Pat Bailey is a fine coach and an even better person. He’s been a valuable member of Casey’s staff. He’ll be a candidate for the job but I’m not sure he will be given the chance. I don’t know athletic director Scott Barnes and have no idea what type of coach he’d favor.

If Bailey – or current pitching coach Nate Yeskie, who is also a qualified candidate -- doesn’t get the job, there are two other candidates who should merit a hard look.

Andrew Checketts, the successful head coach at UC-Santa Barbara who has won 61 percent of his games in his eight seasons there, is an Oregon State grad who pitched three seasons for the Beavers after graduating from West Linn High School. He took the Gauchos to the 2016 College World Series for the first time and was the Big West coach of the year this season. He was also George Horton’s first pitching coach at Oregon and may be a candidate to replace him in Eugene. Known as an outstanding recruiter, his name has also been mentioned as a candidate to fill the vacant job at USC.

Another interesting name would be Scott Brosius, who won a national Division III championship at Linfield, his alma mater, and has been a recent hitting and third-base coach for the Seattle Mariners. He was a World Series MVP for the New York Yankees in 1998, a Gold Glove winner, All-Star Game participant and played 11 seasons in the big leagues. He is currently serving as senior director of player development for USA Baseball – so you’d figure he would have a pretty good idea of who and where are the best young players.

Barnes has said he would like to have a new coach in place in two weeks but replacing this coach is close enough to Mission Impossible that it could take much longer.

After all, Casey is going to be a very tough act to follow.