The awards keep pouring in for Adley Rutschman, the Oregon State junior catcher drafted No. 1 overall by the Orioles in the First-Year Player Draft.
PerfectGameUSA yesterday named Rutschman college baseball’s Player of the Year. That adds to similar honors earlier this week from Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball. More are expected.
Earlier this week, Orioles executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias indicated that the Orioles will allow Rutschman some time to collect some of his hardware and maybe attend a banquet or two before they get down to the business of signing him.
“As I’ve said all along, I’m very optimistic with Adley,” Elias said. “He’s got a lot going on right now and is completing his finals. And then he’s got a slate of awards (to attend) including the Golden Spikes and the Dick Howser (award). There are a few others too. Sometimes it’s best to let the players participate in those types of things, prior to deeply engaging. But everything is going to go smoothly there, is my expectation.”
Elias said he fully expects to get Rutschman and almost certainly will. It’s only really a matter of how much and when. The slot amount for the No. 1 pick is $8,415,300. The record signing bonus for the draft is $8 million, which the Pittsburgh Pirates gave right-hander Gerrit Cole in 2011. Rutschman could top that or come in very near that amount, allowing the Orioles some savings to spend elsewhere.
We probably won’t know which affiliate Rutschman will join until the club officially signs him and announces it. Then there could be a week or two weeks or so of ramping-up for him in Sarasota until he gets to a team. He will have had a long layoff between the end of his college season and his first pro game.
So we could be several weeks away from seeing Rutschman take the field with the Orioles organization for the first time. The first year will likely not be closely scrutinized by the team brass, although fans will be watching his every move.
That said, maybe the Orioles will send Rutschman to Single-A short-season Aberdeen to start for a few weeks. Perhaps then he could end the year with Single-A Delmarva and even participate with the Shorebirds in the South Atlantic League playoffs. That would be exciting. He was on a college World Series winner in 2018 and could chase a minor league title this year.
Yes, we’re getting ahead of ourselves here and this is my complete speculation with no insight on the Orioles thinking at this point. Could Rutschman start at a higher level? Sure he could, but this first year I see no rush. Let him play a few games, get his feet wet and maybe help Delmarva finish off what they started back in April.
About last night: O’s pitchers had given up seven runs in the three games before last night. Then they allowed eight runs over two innings as Toronto beat the Orioles 8-6 at Camden Yards. Since they won back-to-back games May 4-6, this was the O’s eighth shot at a two-game win streak, and they are 0-8 in such games.
Right-hander David Hess, who allowed four runs in four-plus innings, did not allow a homer for the third time as a starter in 2019. But his home ERA, which is now 10.33, leads the American League among pitchers with five or more home starts.
For all their struggles on the mound, the Orioles had not allowed a grand slam this year. That was until Rowdy Tellez hit one off Miguel Castro in the top of the fifth. Surprisingly, the Orioles were the last team in the majors to give up a slam in 2019.
Toronto ended a five-game losing streak and seven-game road losing streak. Toronto right-hander Edwin Jackson got the win. It was his first win since joining the Blue Jays. Per Elias Sports Bureau, Jackson is the first pitcher in major league history to win a game with 12 different teams.
Trey Mancini went 2-for-4 last night with a triple and solo home run, which he bashed 423 feet to center field. He is now batting .407 (22-for-54) in the first inning. Mancini leads the club with 34 extra-base hits and with 21 multi-hit games.