SECAUCUS, NEW JERSEY - The Baltimore Orioles have selected Oregon State switch-hitting catcher Adley Rutschman with the No. 1 pick in the Major League Baseball draft.
The announcement Monday night at MLB Network studios marks the second time the Orioles have led off the draft, and first since they took LSU pitcher Ben McDonald in 1989.
The 21-year-old Rutschman had been the favorite to go first overall since he led Oregon State to the College World Series title last year and was selected as the most outstanding player. He followed that up with a dominant junior season at the plate — hitting .411 with a career-best 17 homers to go along with 58 RBIs and a school-record 76 walks — and behind it, throwing out 13 of 27 baserunners for the Beavers.
Rutschman, a native of Sherwood, Oregon, is a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award given to country’s top college player. He was also the Pac-12 player of the year and the conference’s co-defensive player of year.
His selection marks the seventh time a player drafted as a catcher was taken with the top pick, and first since Minnesota tabbed Joe Mauer in 2001.