Orioles

Orioles

It's official, the Baltimore Orioles now know the man who will help lead their rebuild and resurgence in the years to come. By selecting catcher Adley Rutschman with the first overall pick in the 2019 MLB Draft the Orioles are bringing in someone who many believe is the most talented prospect in years. 

It's easy to know the basics about Rutschman, such as his skill set and stats. But, here are some more interesting facts about the Orioles' newest addition.

1. He was intentionally walked...with the bases loaded

Yes, you read that right. This situation went viral over the weekend after Rutschman stepped to the plate with no outs in the bottom of the seventh and Oregon State trailing Cincinnati 5-2 in the first round of the NCAA Baseball Regionals. Rather than pitch to him and risk maximum damage, the Bearcats decided it would be best to intentionally walk him and let just one run score.

Do you know how talented you have to be to instill that much fear in the other team? Hint: the answer is very, very talented.

2. He shines on the big stage

In 2018, Oregon State won the College World Series for the third time in program history. One of the main reasons the Beavers were the last team standing was Rutschman. When his team needed him most, the catcher put together an outstanding performance.

In 13 games during the CWS, Rutschman recorded 17 hits, a CWS record, and earned Most Outstanding Player. On the biggest stage of his career so far, Rutschman didn't disappear. That bodes well for the Orioles.

 

3. He played football as a freshman at Oregon State

As if he wasn't already impressive enough, it turns out that Rutschman was a multi-sport athlete at the beginning of his collegiate career. Acting as Oregon State's placekicker for kickoffs, Rutschman showed that he has just as much power in his legs as he does in his arms.

Finishing his one season with 20 touchbacks and an average of 59.5 yards per kickoff, the man is just a really good athlete.

4. He was drafted in 2016 before opting to go to college

In the 40th round of the 2016 MLB Draft, the Seattle Mariners took a waiver on Rutschman, drafting him straight out of high school. Like many young prospects who go in the later rounds, he instead headed to college where he was able to improve his game and increase his draft stock. Not only did this decision help him, but I'm sure the Orioles are now happy things turned out this way as well.

5. He continues to get better

Speaking of improving his game, that's exactly what Rutschman has done year after year. Following his freshman season in which he only batted .234, Rutschman could have just wallowed in his minor struggles and hoped for better fortune next year. He didn't do that. Instead, he retooled his swing and began making large strides. His sophomore season saw him bat .408 while recording 102 hits and driving in 83 runs. Somehow finding a way to top that, he batted .411 in 2019.

Additionally, he's been able to work on his craft as a catcher. Learning to work with a pitching staff and gaining a lot more time at the position in college, Rutschman gives the Orioles plenty of reasons to believe that he'll be just as valuable behind the plate as he is at it.

The 21-year-old is already a major talent, and his continual uptick in ability and performance makes you wonder just how high his ceiling could be. 

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