The MLB Draft will get underway on June 3. When it does, expect the Baltimore Orioles to take Oregon State catcher Adley Rutschman first overall.
Buster Olney of ESPN tweeted on Tuesday that teams expect Baltimore to select Rutschman. He also cited one evaluator, who called Rutschman “a great player.”
Rutschman definitely has an impressive NCAA track record. In 2018, he helped lead Oregon State to a national championship. He collected a College World Series record 17 hits en route to winning the College World Series Most Outstanding Player award.
Overall, he hit .408/.505/.628 with nine home runs as a sophomore in 2018. As a junior in 2019, he’s been even better, hitting .427/.575/.793 with 15 homers. Rutschman was also named to the Pac-12 All-Defensive Team last season.
Catchers with that kind of track record generally don’t fall very far in the draft. We certainly see why the Orioles would draft him first overall. If that happens, they’ll have a star prospect for the team and its fans to be very excited about.
Rutschman is already 21. With that, we’d expect him to move through the Baltimore organization relatively quickly. He probably wouldn’t come close to MLB action in 2019. But if everything goes to plan, late 2020 or early 2021 (depending on where the Orioles are in the standings) would be realistic.