Orioles top prospect Adley Rutschman promoted to Norfolk

Adley Rutschman
Adley Rutschman (35) was the #1 overall pick in the 2019 MLB Draft. Photo by Scott German.

The Baltimore Orioles announced Monday that switch-hitting catcher Adley Rutschman will be promoted from Double-A Bowie to Triple-A Norfolk.

Rutschman, currently ranked as the best prospect in Major League Baseball by Baseball America and MLB.com, is scheduled to make his Triple-A debut in the home series this week at Harbor Park against the Memphis Redbirds.

Rutschman was drafted as the number one overall pick by Baltimore in the 2019 MLB June Amateur Draft out of Oregon State University. He’s the second player in Orioles history to be selected first overall in the Major League Draft, (RHP Ben McDonald, 1989) and the first catcher to be drafted first overall since 2001 (Joe Mauer by the Minnesota Twins).

Rutschman was the first catcher selected by the Orioles in the first round of the Major League Draft since Matt Wieters (No. 5 overall) in 2007. Wieters was the last player for the Tides that ranked as the best prospect by Baseball America, in which he played 39 games for Norfolk in 2009 before making his Major League debut with Baltimore.

In 2021 with Bowie, Rutschman hit .271 with 18 home runs and 55 RBI in 80 games. He started at catcher (51 games), first base (20 games) and designated hitter (nine games). He ranked among qualified Double-A Northeast league leaders in runs scored (1st, 61), walks (2nd, 55), RBI (3rd), on-base percentage (4th, .392), OPS (5th, .901), home runs (T-5th), hits (T-5th, 80) and slugging percentage (10th, .508).

Among Orioles minor league hitters, Rutschman ranks first in home runs and runs, while also ranking in RBI (2nd), walks (2nd), hits (T-2nd), and doubles (7th, 16). Among Orioles’ minor leaguers with at least 200 at bats, Rutschman ranks in on-base percentage (2nd), slugging percentage (3rd), OPS (3rd) and batting average (6th).

Prior to his professional career, Rutschman played three seasons at Oregon State from 2017 to 2019. He was born in Portland, Oregon and was recruited out of Sherwood High School (Sherwood, Oregon). Rutschman was a three-year starter at Oregon State, where in 185 career games he hit .352 with 39 doubles, five triples, 28 home runs, 151 runs, 174 RBI, and 156 walks.

As a junior in 2019, he led Oregon State to their 20th NCAA Tournament appearance in program history, and claimed every major amateur and collegiate baseball award, including the Golden Spikes Award, Dick Howser Trophy, and the Buster Posey Award. He led all of Division l in on-base percentage (.575) and walks (76) in 2019.

As a sophomore in 2018, Rutschman helped lead Oregon State to their third NCAA Championship and was named the College World Series Most Outstanding Player, setting a College World Series record with 17 hits.

As a true freshman in 2017, he helped Oregon State make their sixth College World Series appearance.

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