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Orioles select catcher Adley Rutschman with top pick in 2019 MLB Draft

Orioles select catcher Adley Rutschman with top pick in 2019 MLB Draft

The Orioles’ rebuild finally has its face.

After an agonizingly long draft process, Mike Elias has made his first draft selection in Baltimore, choosing Oregon State catcher Adley Rutschman with the top pick in the 2019 MLB Draft.

Rutschman is the rare draft prospect who entered the season as the presumptive favorite and never lost his grip on the top spot. All spring long, evaluators have struggled to nitpick the All-American backstop.

There literally does not exist a box that Rutschman cannot check as a catcher. Hit tool. Power. Arm. Receiving/framing. Athleticism. Leadership. Work ethic. Winner.

Rutschman does it all, enjoying a legendary career with the Beavers. During his sophomore season, the catcher set a College World Series record with 17 hits, all while leading the pitching staff to a stellar performance, culminating with a championship in Corvallis.

He followed it up with an even stronger junior season, adding previously untapped power to his repertoire.

Through it all, he’s kept a level head and focused on his game. That appeals to most MLB decision-makers, including the Orioles.

Are there potential downsides? Of course. No prospect in history has been perfect. Rutschman suffered a minor shoulder injury playing football as a sophomore... in high school. He’s not the fastest player in the world -- though hardly a concern at catcher.

Speaking of catchers, they don’t play every day, which is a turn-off for some. But the Orioles clearly weren’t deterred, recognizing the extra value they’ll be enjoying on the days Rutschman is behind the plate.

Evaluators have gushed about Rutschman for months, throwing superlative after superlative his way. Some think he combines both the highest floor and highest ceiling in the class. Many think he’s the best draft prospect since Bryce Harper in 2009.

Others think he’s better than Buster Posey, a future first-ballot Hall of Famer. And at least one evaluator has announced he’ll be a top-five prospect in the Minor Leagues the moment he signs, which is almost unheard of.

Right now, it’s fun to imagine the possibilities he brings to Charm City. It’s a lot to put on his shoulders, but by all accounts, Rutschman is ready for it.

As excited as fans are in Baltimore tonight, you can be sure Mike Elias’ front office is celebrating three times over (save those who are preparing for the next 39 rounds of the draft). This is a major day for the future of the Orioles franchise.

Every team wants to make the right pick in the draft. By all accounts, the Orioles did just that.

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Baltimore Orioles Roundup: Hanser Alberto breaks up potential combined perfect game with 9th inning single

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Baltimore Orioles Roundup: Hanser Alberto breaks up potential combined perfect game with 9th inning single

The Orioles lost the series finale to the Rays Sunday afternoon at Camden Yards, but there was one silver lining from the matchup, and the silver lining was delivered by second baseman Hanser Alberto.

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For the first eight innings Sunday afternoon, none of the at-bats by the Orioles produced a hit, as Tampa Bay’s Ryne Stanek and Ryan Yarbrough combining to not allow a base runner. That was until the bottom of the ninth inning when O's second baseman Hansel Alberto decided that his ballclub would not be on the opposing side of history, and hit a single against the switch, breaking up what would have been the first combined perfect game in MLB history.

Coming Up:

Tuesday 7/16: Nationals vs Orioles, 1:05 p.m., Oriole Park

Wednesday 7/17: Nationals vs Orioles, 7:05 p.m., Oriole Park

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Baltimore Orioles join short list of teams extending protective netting to foul poles

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Baltimore Orioles join short list of teams extending protective netting to foul poles

The Baltimore Orioles became the latest MLB team to have plans to extend the protective netting all the way to the outfield foul pole lines in the lower sections, according to reports. 

This change appends the Orioles to a short list of Major League Baseball teams deciding to move in this direction, most notably, after the incident that occurred earlier this season in which Chicago Cubs' center fielder Albert Almora Jr. hit a foul ball in Houston that struck and injured a young child in the stands. 

The young child suffered a suffered skull fracture and seizure. 

“We are currently working with our experts and partners toward finalizing plans to extend the protective netting at both of our ballparks even further to each foul pole,” team spokesman Greg Bader told the Baltimore Sun on Friday. “In an effort to ensure we implement the right plan for those attending games at both venues, we are performing due diligence and will implement the plan our experts recommend as soon as possible."

The Washington Nationals, Chicago White Sox, Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Dodgers and Pittsburgh Pirates have also announced plans to extend their parks netting. 

The new netting will be installed at Camden Yards and at the Orioles’ Sarasota, Fla., spring training stadium “no later than the start of the 2020 season, if not at an earlier point in time,” the Baltimore Sun reported. 

Before the beginning of the 2018 season, the Orioles extended the netting to a few sections beyond the dugout due to a growing number of baseball fans around the league being injured by balls and bats.

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