After much unnecessary hand-wringing, the Orioles did what everyone expected them to do all along, drafting Oregon State catcher Adley Rutschman with the first overall pick in the 2019 MLB first-year player draft.
The Birds kept their cards close to the vest, as even moments before the pick was made, experts on Twitter had no idea if Mike Elias & Co. would throw a last-second curveball.
An aside: I much preferred this to say, the NFL Draft situation, where the top overall pick is now known hours, if not days, in advance. Nice to have some suspense in a draft again.
Fans reaction to Adley Rutschman. Awesome moment for a beleaguered fan base pic.twitter.com/VeecWYYq7Q
— @ThePayoffPitch (@ThePayoffPitch1) June 3, 2019
Back to Rutschman: the consensus top overall player in this year’s draft, Adley was walked with the bases loaded last weekend in the College World Series.
Bases loaded intentional walk!?!?
— NCAA Baseball (@NCAACWS) June 1, 2019
As a junior, he hit .411/.575/.751 with 17 HR, 10 2B, and 1 3B, and walked twice as many times as he struck out (76-38). His defense is unquestioned, as he’s considered an above average pitch framer with a very strong arm and solid pitch-blocking skills.
Adley immediately becomes the face of the Baltimore Orioles franchise. No pressure, kid. Welcome to Birdland.
The Orioles have two more picks on Day 1 of the draft.