Adley Rutschman

Adley Rutschman returns to Reser, the ovation is "all he can ask for"

Adley Rutschman returns to Reser, the ovation is "all he can ask for"

A familiar face appeared in Reser.

Adley Rutschman returned to Corvallis and was recognized for winning the 2019 Golden Spikes award. The Beaver faithful gave him an ovation at the end of the first quarter timeout in Oregon State’s contest against the Washington Huskies on Friday night. 

The award is given out annually to the best amateur baseball player in the nation. Not only did Rutschman win the award last season, but he also won the National Championship in 2018 and was selected first overall by the Baltimore Orioles in the 2019 MLB Draft. 

At the recognition, Rutschman was surrounded by “family” --- his parents, friends, former teammates and his old coach Pat Casey.

Rutschman discussed the occasion.

It’s an unbelievable feeling. I feel right at home...to have Beaver Nation recognize me. It’s all I could ask for... I just feel extremely supported and extremely humbled to be a part of this.

You can watch the full video above.

Adley Rutschman is a fan of Mitch Canham

Adley Rutschman is a fan of Mitch Canham

Adley Rutschman spent most of his summer working his way up the Baltimore Orioles farm system, but with the minor league baseball season wrapped up, the former Oregon State star took the chance to return home to Corvallis. 

Rutschman was roaming the sideline of the Beavers homecoming game against Utah, and our Ron Callan got a chance to catch up with him. 

Among the topics he pitched to Rutschman was the hire of former Beaver Baseball star Mich Cahman to replace Pat Casey. 

Said Rutschmanm, "I love Mitch... being able to pick his brain before he was a head coach, you understand what a phenomenal human being his is. I am so happy to see him have the head coaching job now." 

You can hear the whole Rutschman interview in the video above. 

Adley Rutschman crushes home run in Minor League Debut

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USATI

Adley Rutschman crushes home run in Minor League Debut

Oregon State superstar baseball player Adley Rutschman, who was the first pick in the MLB draft this spring, made his debut with the minor league GCL Orioles on Saturday. 

It didn't take him long to make his impact known as he sent a bomb out of the stadium in his first game. 

Drafted by the Baltimore Orioles (currently 30-66), it would not be surprising to see Rutschman rise through the minor leagues fairly quickly, especially if he continues launching home runs like this one. 

You can follow Rutschman's minor league progress on his player page, right here. 

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.

Beavers lose to Bearcats -- but will the Pat Casey Question be answered soon?

Beavers lose to Bearcats -- but will the Pat Casey Question be answered soon?

CORVALLIS – A whole lot of questions were buzzing around Goss Stadium Friday night in the wake of Oregon State’s stunning 7-6 first-round loss to Cincinnati in the Corvallis regional. To wit:

  • What happened to the Beavers’ vaunted defense? Long a staple of the defending NCAA champions, defense has been an Oregon State calling card through three national championships. But not Friday night. OSU was officially charged with only two errors but that didn’t come close to telling the full story. The Beaver outfielders took indirect routes to fly balls, got late starts on others, and in the words of interim head coach Pat Bailey, “There were about five balls that should have been caught and weren’t caught.” Some of those led to runs. Big runs in a game decided by a single run. The Beaver outfielders were playing unusually deep all game, due to the wind blowing out, Bailey said, “But there’s balls hit in front that if we get good jumps, they’re caught.”
  • Why in the world would Cincinnati intentionally walk Adley Rutschman with the bases loaded, nobody out in the seventh inning and a three-run lead? The move pushed the tying run to second base and the Beavers went on to score four runs in the inning to take the lead. “I would do it again,” Bearcat Coach Scott Googins said. “We weren’t going to let the best player in the country beat us.” I’ve seen it done before to Barry Bonds, but that was with two out in the ninth inning of a game. Big difference. But the Cincinnati hitting attack, which produced 15 hits, took the coach off the hook.
  • How should the Beavers have pitched to red-hot Bearcat outfielder AJ Bumpass? More carefully than they did, that’s for sure. Especially with the score tied in the ninth. Bumpass, already 4-4 with a homer, came to the plate with a runner at first and nobody out and tripled to drive in what proved to the be winning run. And yes, it was another of those long high flies that the OSU outfielders probably didn’t take the most direct route to make the catch.
  • How will the Beavers, who were in a bit of a tailspin at the end of the season, bounce back from the Friday defeat? They don't have much time to recover, with the schedule mandating they meet Creighton Saturday afternoon at 1 o'clock.

But those weren’t even the biggest questions of the night, if we’re going to be honest. One question on a lot of people’s mind was whether Rutschman will be taken No. 1 in the major-league draft Monday. But again, that wasn’t the biggest question and the Orioles have not made their choice public.

The gigantic puzzler that’s hanging over Goss and the OSU campus has to do with Pat Casey – and whether the once and former coach will return to take over the program. He was supposed to inform the athletic department of his intentions June 1, but that’s not going to happen while this regional is going on.

Rumors were rife Friday night about an announcement that’s scheduled to be made early next week, perhaps Tuesday, of Casey’s plans.

And what will that be?

I have no idea, but my guess would be based on many years of knowing the man – all the way back to his freshman year at the University of Portland. He’s a baseball coach. It’s what he is and who he is. And has been for a long time.

And I can't see him changing at this point. I’d guess – and please, it’s just a guess – that he’s coming back.

 

 

OSU Catcher Adley Rutschman wins Collegiate Baseball Player of the Year award. 

OSU Catcher Adley Rutschman wins Collegiate Baseball Player of the Year award. 

OSU Catcher Adley Rutschman has won the Collegiate Baseball Player of the Year award. 

This adds to a long list of accomplishments the catcher has earned both this year and throughout this career at Oregon State, including Pac-12 Player of the Year. 

Be sure to follow us on Twitter for full coverage of OSU's Regional matchups as they look to advance in the College World Series. 

Get to know the OSU catcher in this, from Lindsey Wisniewski, from earlier this month....

Meet Adley Rutschman, Oregon State's star catcher who could soon be the future of Major League Baseball. The junior is coming off National College Baseball Writers Association National Player of the Month honors and could become the first pick in MLB's first-year draft in June. 

The 6-foot-2, 216 pound physical, switch-hitting backstop hit .455 over 18 games in April and recorded five doubles, seven home runs, and 23 runs batted last month. This season, he's hitting .429 with 16 home runs and 53 RBI. Rutschman holds the OSU single-season record with 59 walks and leads the nation with a .579 on-base percentage.

Let’s get to know the Beavers star. 

He has Oregon roots

Rutschman was born in Portland, Oregon and attended Sherwood High School. He chose to remain in Oregon for college and says he chose the Beavers because of "great coaching, the town and the school," according to OSU Athletics. 

Athletics run in his family

His grandfather, Ad, and father, Randy, both have ties to Linfield College in McMinville. His grandfather is a legendary football coach, who took Linfield to three NAIA national championships. His father, Randy, was also a catcher and considered one of best teachers at the position in the Pacific Northwest.

He’s a former two-sport athlete

Rutschman grew up playing football and baseball. At Sherwood, he was the star pitcher and catcher. With the football team, Rutschman kicked a state-record 63-yard field goal in 2015. In his freshman year at Oregon State, he played both football and baseball for the Beavers. Serving as a placekicker on the OSU Football team, he averaged 59.5 yards per kick and totaled 20 touchbacks. 

Did you know?

Rutschman was selected in the 40th round of the 2016 MLB First-Year Player Draft by Seattle, but he did not sign.

There's a reason fans call him "Clutchman" 

Then sophmore catcher, Rutschman, helped lead the Beavers to their third national title last season and set a tournament record with 17 hits (a new CWS record), 13 RBIs (second in CWS history) and on base percentage of .649 (second highest in CWU history).

His dominant performance earned him 2018 College World Series Most Outstanding Player of the Year honors and the nickname "Clutchman," and rightfully so. 

He's expected to be a top prospect in the draft

Rutschman is a heavy favorite to be chosen No. 1 in the 2019 MLB Draft. He's listed as the No. 1 prospect on MLB Pipeline's 2019 Draft Top 50 Prospects List and is expected to be headed to Baltimore, as the Orioles hold the top overall pick after losing 115 games in 2018.

Harold Reynolds goes one-on-one with Adley Rutschman

Harold Reynolds goes one-on-one with Adley Rutschman

Adley Rutschman is arguably one of the greatest players in the long history of Oregon State Baseball. With the MLB Draft just a days away, Rutshcnman can expect to hear his name called early. The consensus No.1 player in the draft class, Rutschman looks to turn his impressive college career into a brilliant career in the major leagues. 

With the Beavers set to host NCAA Regionals starting on Friday, Rutschman's focus will be on the Beavers making a return trip to Omaha. But on Monday, June 3rd, his focus will be on Major League Baseball. 

Ahead of the draft, Ruthschman sat down for an interview with former MLB star, and Oregon native Harold Reynolds of the MLB Network. How does Rutschman keep his focus on Oregon State with all the MLB noise? How has his family impacted his playing style? What does he think of the Orioles potentially selecting him No.1 overall?  You can find out in the interview below.

Ducks to face motivated Beavers in Civil War baseball series

Ducks to face motivated Beavers in Civil War baseball series

It’s no secret that after losing nine of the last 10 games, Oregon baseball needs to quickly change its momentum before the Civil War series against Oregon State this weekend in Eugene. However, the Beavers (31-14-1, 17-4 Pac-12) are also in desperate need of wins.

OSU plummeted from No. 4 to No. 12 in Baseball America’s Top 25 after losing four straight games. With nine games remaining, the Beavers are still tied for first with Stanford in conference play.

Oregon State needs more wins on its resume to keep alive its hopes of hosting a NCAA regional. The Beavers need to flush the losses to Gonzaga and Oklahoma State and get back to how they we playing last month.

Oregon State went 12-6 in the month of April, with much thanks to catcher Adley Rutschman who batted .455 with five doubles, seven home runs and 23 runs batted in over the 18 games. Rutschman was named the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association April Player of the Month.

Offensively during April, Rutschman reached base in 17 of 18 games. Defensively, Rutschman didn’t commit an error in April, and went 3-for-3 in throwing out runners trying steal a base.

Plenty of motivation exists for both teams entering the three-game rivalry series. For Oregon State, a national seed and a regular season Pac-12 championship are still within reach. While the Ducks must be perfect for a shot at the postseason.

A third national title? OSU is a juggernaut bordering on dynasty

A third national title? OSU is a juggernaut bordering on dynasty

OMAHA – After those back-to-back NCAA baseball championships in 2006 and 2007 I suppose it should have been no surprise when Oregon State captured another one Thursday night.

But come on, how could it not be special?

The job the Beavers have done on a national stage since Pat Casey took over the program has been incredible.

Casey has built a machine, one with a foundation made of equal parts talent, belief, recruiting, facilities, hard work and player development.

This is a full-fledged national power, as close to a dynasty as can be built in today’s college athletics.

And I’ve said it from the start, as somebody who played baseball, coached it and has written about it now for more decades than I care to remember:

I’m still not sure how you convince blue-chip players from places like California, Arizona, Nevada and other sun-belt environs to play college baseball in the often cold and wet Pacific Northwest. And even more difficult, how do you talk blue-chip players from the cold and wet Pacific Northwest into staying here for college baseball instead of fleeing to the sunshine?

It’s crazy – a story nobody would believed a couple of decades ago when players from this region dared not even dream of a trip to Omaha for anything but a visit to the city’s renowned zoo.

Some thoughts on what I saw from the Beavers during the championship finals:

  • Truly great teams win even when bad things happen to them. The Beavers didn’t get the pitching from their Big Two they’ve become accustomed to getting. They won anyway. They got some tough calls and bad breaks, too.
  • A big part of Oregon State's success has been preparation. And that means detailed and accurate scouting reports, from what I've heard. Assistant Coach Pat Bailey has been responsible for a lot of those reports and I do know when I congratulated him after the game, he smiled, shook his head and said, "There was a lot of watching video tape."
  • But when presented with the biggest break of all – a foul popup that could have closed the door on them that dropped untouched amid a Bermuda Triangle of Arkansas players – they took the game and the series away from the Pigs.
  • They found a freshman pitcher who worked miracles for them. Kevin Abel was a mystery much of the season – a freshman with great stuff who was unable to harness it. But the coaching staff and his teammates stuck with him and helped him turn into the surprise story of the tournament.
  • All Abel did was pitch the first nine-inning, two-hit shutout in championship game history. And become the first pitcher to ever win four games at the CWS. And all the while doing it on short rest and in the first nine-inning stint of his life.
  • Abel looked like a baby-faced Greg Maddux against the Razorbacks. He lost his curve ball for a few innings and continued to dominate with just his well-placed fastball and devastating change up. And he even managed to get into a Maddux-like rhythm with the home plate umpire that got him a lot of borderline strike calls.
  • Either that or catcher Adley Rutschman was stealing those strikes with his pitch framing.
  • And don’t forget the man calling that bewildering mix of pitches that kept the high-powered  Arkansas offense off balance all night. OSU pitching coach Nate Yeskie called a brilliant game from the dugout. And that’s a big part of it all.
  • And speaking of Rutschman – and who isn’t? – he owned this World Series from both sides of the plate and from behind it. The switch-hitting catcher had an on-base percentage over .500 and batting average over .400. I have every expectation that we’re going to see that Oregon State battery in the big leagues some day.
  • Trevor Larnach was terrific in the clutch in his quiet, unassuming way. What a stroke this kid has.
  • That keystone combination of Cadyn Grenier and Nick Madrigal was so fun to watch. Smart players with great hands are a necessity in the middle of the infield. I wish them luck in their professional careers and I’m not sure we’ll ever see the likes of a combo like that in Corvallis again.
  • That hamstring injury kept Steven Kwan out of most of the championship round but he was one of the best outfielders and lead-off hitters in the country. That his team won without him is testimony to its depth and resolve.'Veterans Michael Gretler and Jack Anderson were rock solid. Winning teams need solid veterans.

I don’t know what else to say about this bunch other than congratulations. Stories like theirs are the reason I got into this crazy business.

And why I’ve stayed in it.

 

Beavers pull off a miracle finish to stay alive at CWS

Beavers pull off a miracle finish to stay alive at CWS

OMAHA –  Oregon State, barely breathing and down to its last strike, finally got a break Tuesday night. And it was a monster one that led to the Beavers pulling out  5-3 win to stay alive in its College World Series quest for a national championship.

Cadyn Grenier, with two outs and the tying run at third base in the top of the ninth inning, hit a foul popup down the right field line. How many Razorbacks does it take to catch a foul popup with a national championshp on the line?

Well, at least four, I guess. The ball fell untouched and Grenier lashed a two-out, two-strike single into left field to tie a game that appeared lost.

The next batter, Trevor Larnach, boomed a line-drive, two-run homer into the right-field bullpen to give the Beavers a 5-3 lead.

Freshman Kevin Able, who struck out the side in the eighth in relief, allowed a leadoff single in the bottom of the ninth and gave way to Jake Mulholland. He finished it up with a strikeout and a double play.

BOOM -- series tied heading into a winner-take-all contest Thursday night.

It looked all evening as if Oregon State was just going to squander every chance it had to score. The Beavers had managed a total of only three runs in two games and Wednesday night was on its way to dropping its second straight game, and the College World Series, to the Arkansas Razorbacks – this time by a score of 3-2.

The Beavers squandered opportunities, including a bases-loaded situation with the heart of the order at the plate, a botched squeeze-play attempt and a runner at third with one out.

Oregon State got the lead-off man on in the eighth on Adley Rutschman’s single, sacrificed him to second and he moved to third on a passed ball but Arkansas lefty Matt Cronin came out of the bullpen to whiff Tyler Malone, who battled through an eight-pitch at bat. He then disposed of pinch-hitting Steven Kwan on a fly ball to left field to end the inning.

Then in the ninth, Zak Taylor worked Cronin for a walk on a 3-2 pitch and gave way to pinch-runner Zack Clayton. Andy Armstrong bunted him to second for Nick Madrigal -- the Beavers No. 4 pick in the recent MLB draft. Best spot for the best hitter, right? Madrigal grounded weakly to first for the second out of the inning and Cadyn Grenier hit a popup in foul territory that dropped untouched between three players.

New life, right? Well, YES -- and you know the rest of the story.

The Hogs got on the scoreboard with a run in the second inning on a single, hit batter and two walks, the latter with the bases loaded.

The Beavers had hit the ball hard in the first inning. Nick Madrigal and Cadyn Grenier flew out deep to straightaway center field and then Trevor Larnach and Rutschman belted line-drive singles. But Michael Gretler struck out to end the inning.

OSU starter Bryce Fehmel walked the lead-off batter in the third and was removed in favor of Brandon Eisert, who struck out the side in that inning and pitched very well through the seventh,

Rutschman got the Beavers even in the top of the fourth when he lined a 1-0 pitch into the Arkansas bullpen for a solo home run.

In the top of the fifth, Zak Taylor grounded a single into left field and Preston Jones, starting in place of injured Steven Kwan, to set the Beavers up with runners at first and second with one out.

That was the end of Razorback starter Kacey Murphy, who gave way to right-hander Jake Reindl.

Madrigal worked him for a four-pitch walk to load the bases for Grenier, who bunted for a base hit to drove in the go-ahead run.

With the bases still loaded, Larnach took a first-pitch ball before another pitching change brought in right-hander Kole Ramage from the Hog bullpen.

Larnach then struck out to bring Rutschman to the plate.

The Beaver catcher rolled an easy grounder to first to end the inning and OSU got only one run out of the inning. At that point, they’d outhit Arkansas 7-1 and led only 2-1.

And Oregon State fell victim to some bad luck in the bottom of that inning as two bloops fell in front of Beaver outfielders, leading to the game’s tying run.

Carson Shaddy then smacked a two-out single into left field and the Razorbacks had the lead back.

In the sixth, the Beavers had runners at the corners with none out but chose to squeeze again – but pinch-hitter Jack Anderson popped the bunt into a double-play and OSU went scoreless in the frame.