The Orioles made it official on Monday night that they have signed the #1 overall draft choice, catcher Adley Rutschman. The i’s have been dotted and the t’s crossed. With plenty of time to spare before the July 12 deadline to sign players, Rutschman is a member of the organization.
Rutschman will be introduced in a press conference at 2pm at Camden Yards today. MASN has made the decision to cut away from its scintillating daytime programming in order to carry the press conference live. If you’re not able to get to a TV that carries MASN, don’t worry. They will be carrying the presser on both MASN’s Facebook page and MASNsports.com.
The 2019 team stinks, so Rutschman’s drafting and signing is really the most exciting thing to have happened in Birdland this year. He was the consensus #1 player in the draft. The Orioles got him and gave him a record $8.1 million signing bonus and now here he is.
As the various prospect rankings do in-season updates to reflect the signing, Rutschman is almost certain to catapult to the top of any Orioles-focused list. The Fangraphs prospect list already has Rutschman as the #8 prospect in all of baseball before he’s even played a professional inning.
Hard not to get excited about the guy being written about in this MLB Pipeline scouting report from before the draft:
The switch-hitting backstop is the complete package at and behind the plate. He has an advanced approach at the plate, walking more than he’s struck out at Oregon State, with the ability to make consistent, hard contact and drive the ball from both sides of the plate. He’d been more of a gap-to-gap doubles hitter, but the over-the-fence power started to show up more during his junior season.
Rutschman is also outstanding behind the plate, with excellent hands, agility and a very strong throwing arm. He’s even a better runner than some give him credit for.
Hype is just hype and it doesn’t mean a whole lot until it turns into results in the professional ranks. There hasn’t been a position player prospect with this kind of hype in the system since Manny Machado, who blossomed into a player even better than O’s fans could have hoped. Before him it was Matt Wieters, who was a fine Oriole even if he never quite lived up to the hype about him.
Hopefully Rutschman has more of a Machado future than a Wieters one. Maybe with a touch less bat throwing and brawling.
I’ll be doing my best to live blog the questions and answers in the comments section. Let’s enjoy this day of Rutschmania.