Top prospect Adley Rutschman joins Shorebirds

Adley Rutschman.

The Baltimore Orioles have promoted 2019 No. 1 overall pick Adley Rutschman to the Class-A Delmarva Shorebirds

The catcher and reigning Golden Spikes Award winner was expected to join the Shorebirds in time for their Wednesday home game against the Greensboro Grasshoppers.

Rutschman, 21, will make the third stop in his brief Orioles tenure after spending time with the Gulf Coast League Orioles and Aberdeen IronBirds. Through his first 25 professional games, the Oregon native is slashing .297/.389/.462 with seven doubles, one triple, two home runs, 18 RBIs, 14 runs scored, and an .850 OPS.

In his final game with the IronBirds on Monday, Rutschman extended his current hitting streak to 10 games, going 5-for-5 with a triple, homer, and four RBIs, and finishing a double shy of his first career cycle.

Rutschman capped a remarkable and decorated collegiate career at Oregon State this past June. In three seasons with the Beavers, the switch-hitter batted .352 with 72 extra-base hits, 174 RBIs, and a 1.032 OPS over 185 games.

Along with fellow Orioles prospect and former Shorebird shortstop Cadyn Grenier, Rutschman led OSU to the 2018 College World Series championship, winning Most Outstanding Player in the tournament.

Rutschman’s numbers with Oregon State this season were astounding: He slashed .411/.575/.751 with 17 homers and 58 RBIs on the way to winning Pac-12 Player of the Year, the Dick Howser Award for national college player of the year, and the Golden Spikes Award as the nation’s top amateur baseball player.

A fixture at the top of nearly every draft board, Rutschman was a near-unanimous projection to go No. 1 overall. The Orioles indeed made him the first pick in the 2019 MLB First Year Player Draft on June 3, Baltimore’s first top overall pick since pitcher Ben McDonald in 1989. Rutschman made his professional debut with the GCL Orioles on July 20. Per MLB Pipeline, he currently ranks as the top prospect in the Orioles’ system and the No. 6 prospect in all of Minor League Baseball.

When Rutschman first takes the field for the Shorebirds, he will be the highest-ever draft choice to lace up his spikes for the home team at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium. The current record-holder is 2010 No. 3 pick Manny Machado, who played for the Shorebirds in 2011 and has made four All-Star teams in his eight-year Major League career.

Rutschman joins the Shorebirds on their home stretch of the regular season leading into their first South Atlantic League postseason since 2005.

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