Mitch Canham at OSU: "This is the only job I've ever dreamt of"

Mitch Canham at OSU: "This is the only job I've ever dreamt of"

Mitch Canham met the media in Corvallis Friday morning and he made it clear that the job of coaching Oregon State baseball is a homecoming, of sorts.

And his former coach made it just as clear that he wanted nothing more than to Leave it to a Beaver.

Canham, a former Beaver catcher and now-ex-Manager of Seattle's Double-A Arkansas club left little doubt why he is walking away from professional baseball as a rising star to return to his roots at Oregon State.

“This is the only job I’ve really ever dreamt of,” he said. “My passion for this program is second to none. I’ve lived for the orange and black since I attended OSU.”

The Mariners considered Canham an up-and-comer in their organization, but had been told by Canham that the only call he would ever take about another job would be from Oregon State.

“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 I 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.”

Former Coach Pat Casey was an advisor to Athletic Director Scott Barnes during the selection process and he was present at the news conference.

“Scott gave me the freedom that he knew that I really believed it had to be a Beaver to carry this thing on,” Casey said. “My whole goal with this was to make sure it stayed in the Beaver family.

“The one thing our baseball program does is rally around each other. And I think they will rally around Mitch. I knew with Mitch, whatever path he chose he was going to be successful.”

Canham is one of those people that, when you ask around to people he’s known or worked with, you never hear anything but positives. Amidst a sea of qualified candidates, I can understand how he could have been a star in the interview process. He is polished and smooth.

I think he will be an outstanding recruiter, in that he believes in the school and the baseball program and should be able to convey that to recruits and their families.

He’s going to need to recruit well because it doesn’t appear that the Beavers will be well-stocked after their drafted players this year sign contracts and depart for the pro ranks.

Canham faces another difficult challenge, too. His top assistant coaches – pitching coach Nate Yeskie and interim head coach Pat Bailey – were candidates for the job he won. Will they return? Would he be stuck with them if he would prefer to bring in other people?

"Amazing men, all of them," Canham said of the Beaver coaching staff. "Not only as people but with their skillset. And they're family. I'm excited to sit down and talk with each coach. I had a chance to talk with Nate, had a chance to talk with 'Bailes' and great things. Great things. We're all in a great place and we're going to continue to have conversations and see how we can make this thing work."

Those questions will have to wait for a few days as Canham is expected to return to Arkansas to say his goodbyes to staff and players and move his belongings to Corvallis.

“I’m looking forward to being home,” Canham said. “This is home.”

Darwin Barney: "Mitch Canham is a leader in all aspects of life"

Darwin Barney: "Mitch Canham is a leader in all aspects of life"

Darwin Barney is an eight-year veteran of Major League Baseball and a former player at Oregon State. In fact, he was a teammate of new OSU Coach Mitch Canham on OSU’s first two national championship teams, in 2006 and 2007.

Retired from professional baseball and back living in the Portland area, where he was raised, Barney was very positive about the ability of Canham to replace Pat Casey and Pat Bailey as the head coach at Oregon State.

He shared his thoughts on his former teammate Thursday.

“Mitch is a leader in all aspects of life,” Barney said. “A selfless individual who embodies what the Oregon State baseball program stands for. Change is not always easy, but I truly believe in Canham’s ability to lead our program.

“At the end of it all, a great day to be a Beaver.”

Oregon State plans a news conference Friday at 10 a.m. to formally introduce Canham, who has been managing the Double-A Arkansas Travelers in the Seattle Mariners' organization.

 

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)

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.

Breaking: Pat Casey has elected NOT to return to Oregon State as head coach

Breaking: Pat Casey has elected NOT to return to Oregon State as head coach

In all hopes and dreams and rumors of former Oregon State baseball coach Pat Casey returning to the team next season as head coach can now come to a rest. Casey has elected NOT to return to Oregon State as head coach, as told today by Oregon State Athletic Director Scott Barnes.

----

Dear Beaver Nation,

Pat Casey has elected not to return to the baseball dugout and coach the Oregon State Beavers. It’s certainly a decision carefully considered by Pat, and one that we respect and will honor, even while disappointed. While Pat may not be our coach going forward, he will continue to serve as a key ambassador for Oregon State University as Senior Associate Athletic Director.

When Pat announced that he would be stepping down as head coach last September, I wanted to give him time to think about his decision and leave open a path where he could return as head coach. Over those nine months, I had numerous conversations with Pat to gauge his interest in returning to the leadership role.
My hope was that he would return as head coach after taking a break to refresh.  Unfortunately, we know now that will not be the case.

Moving forward, we will conduct a national search and consider both the very best candidates in the nation. We already have tremendous interest from individuals who aspire to lead this storied program, including from interim head Coach Pat Bailey.

I compliment the job that Coach Bailey has done this year under difficult circumstances. The roster has been depleted with injuries from the very start of the season after losing three MLB First Round Draft picks from last year’s national championship club. Coach Bailey and his coaching staff have done a remarkable job.

As well, we can all be so very proud of what Pat Casey, his coaching staff, and student-athletes, who have represented Oregon State baseball, have achieved over the past two decades. They have made Corvallis a desired national destination for the best in college baseball. I can assure you that will continue to be the case.

I am excited for the high caliber coaching prospects who will seek to follow arguably the best college baseball coach in the history of the sport. But I assure you this is a program that will reload – not rebuild – as among the nation’s very best.

In closing, it’s been another exciting year for Oregon State Athletics. And we are very appreciative that you continue to support our programs, coaches, staff and most importantly the amazing young men and women who represent this great university. Each day, I am honored to serve as your Vice President and Director of Athletics.

----

Rewind the clock to this time last season, and the Oregon State Beavers were deep into postseason play with an eventual National Championship on the horizon under Casey, who will go down not just as one of the greats in Oregon State baseball history, but in the collegiate game. Casey lead the Beavers to three national championships (2006, 2007, 2018) as well as multiple 40+ win seasons. After hoisting the NCAA trophy high into the Omaha air last season, Casey decided to step down as head coach but remained on staff in an advisory role.

Fast forward to now, with the Beavers' 2019 season coming to an abrupt end at the NCAA Regional tournament, the rumors started flowing in: Would Casey return to his rightful place as head coach of the Beavers?

Today, that question has been answered.

Barnes said on a conference call with reporterts that Casey will be a consultant in the national search for a new coach and hopes to have one selected in the next couple of weeks. 

Oregon State joins the University of Oregon and USC looking to fill a vacancy for their head baseball coach.

Social media reacts as Adley "Clutchman" Rutschman gets selected No. 1 in MLB Draft

Social media reacts as Adley "Clutchman" Rutschman gets selected No. 1 in MLB Draft

The pick is in and the wait is over. Adley Rutschman is staying in orange and black. 

With the first pick of the 2019 MLB Draft, the Baltimore Orioles select Adley Rutschman, catcher from Oregon State University.

The Pac-12 Player of the Year, Collegiate Baseball Player of the Year, a finalist for the Buster Posey Award as well as the Golden Spikes Award, now can add No. 1 overall draft pick to his already impressive resume. 

The Corvallis, Oregon community is behind him, but the love and support for the junior catcher doesn't stop there. Here's how the social media world reacted to "Clutchman" being the MLB's most wanted:

Congrats, Adley!

Go Beavs.

Oregon State’s Adley Rutschman goes No. 1 overall in the MLB Draft to the Baltimore Orioles

Oregon State’s Adley Rutschman goes No. 1 overall in the MLB Draft to the Baltimore Orioles

With the first pick in the 2019 MLB Draft, the Baltimore Orioles select... Adley Rutschman, catcher from Oregon State University.

The Pac-12 Player of the Year and Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Year adds one more accolade to his already impressive resume. The Oregon State junior catcher has been nothing short of stellar throughout his three-year career in Corvallis, Oregon and now finds himself at the top of the MLB’s most wanted list. 

Rutschman is the fifth catcher selected No. 1 overall in the MLB draft (1966: Steve Chilcott, Mets; 1970: Mike Ivie, Padres; 1971: Danny Goodwin, White Sox (did not sign); 1975: Danny Goodwin, Angels; 2001: Joe Mauer, Twins).

Let’s take a look at his career at Oregon State and what makes him such a desirable prospect at the majors:

- Catcher with a dagger for an arm. He can get out of his stance and zip a bullet to second in no time at all and with pinpoint accuracy to catch players stealing second.

- Switch-hitter. Rutschman finished the 2019 season with a .411 batting average. If you look at the statistics alone, he had better numbers during his sophomore season which resulted in opposing pitchers to not want to pitch to him the next season. Rutschman was walked 76 times his junior season (23 more than his sophomore season), struck out just 38 times, and hit 17 home runs. 

If you missed it, Cincinnati coach Scott Googins intentionally walked Rutschman during the NCAA Regionals with the bases loaded and a 5-2 lead… Rutschman is that good. 

- A leader that you want to follow. No social media, majoring in finance, and a member of the National Honor Society at Sherwood High School (just 75 miles north of Corvallis). 

His teammates rave about him. “It’s all been said about him, you can’t say enough good things,” said teammate Alex McGarry after the NCAA Regionals tournament in Corvallis last weekend. “The kind of leader and passion he has for the game, it’s something that we all feed off.”

“Shoot, I think last year kind of proved it in a nutshell,” said teammate and childhood friend Zak Taylor. “I remember sitting in the dugout, we were playing UNC, Rutsch had a double to center and I think we scored three runs on the play. He looked at me and said ‘You know I think I could go could pretty high in the draft next year.’ We both kind of laughed about it but seeing it come full circle now in the position he is, I think a team is dumb not to take him first overall.”

- An overall athlete. Rutschman displayed his athletic abilities not just on the baseball diamond, but on the gridiron as well. During his freshman year, Rutschman was the placekicker for the Beavers on kickoffs, averaging 59.5 yards per kick, totaling 20 touchbacks.

From our very own Dwight Jaynes: 

“No question in my mind he is the best baseball prospect to come out of this state since Dale Murphy in 1974. Murphy, from Wilson High, was also a catcher and was taken No. 5 by the Atlanta Braves and turned out to be a two-time National League Most Valuable Player. Rutschman is probably not the defensive player Murphy was at that time, but is projected as a better hitter. He has power from both sides of the plate and has great understanding of the strike zone. Also an outstanding leader who should have a quick path to the big leagues.”

Thank you for an illustrious career with the Beavers and good luck at the majors, Adley!

More on Rutschman:

READ: Rutschman named Pac-12 Player of the Year

READ: Get to know Oregon State's baseball star Adley Rutschman

WATCH: Rutschman focused on making memories with the Beavers