Orioles draft Oregon State catcher Rutschman with No. 1 pick
By DENNIS WASZAK Jr.
AP Sports Writer
SECAUCUS, N.J. (AP) - The Baltimore Orioles selected Oregon State switch-hitting catcher Adley Rutschman with the No. 1 pick in the Major League Baseball draft Monday night.
The announcement at MLB Network studios marked the second time the Orioles led off the draft - they took LSU pitcher Ben McDonald in 1989.
With the No. 2 pick, Kansas City selected Texas high school shortstop Bobby Witt Jr., the son of former big league pitcher Bobby Witt.
The younger Witt has draft-day bragging rights on his father, who won 142 games over 16 seasons in the majors after being selected No. 3 overall in 1985. The Witts became the highest-drafted father-son duo, topping Tom Grieve (No. 6, 1966) and Ben Grieve (No. 2, 1994).
The Witts are the seventh father-son combination of first-rounders, and first since Delino DeShields (1987) and Delino DeShields Jr. (2010).
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 the 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.
The 6-foot, 180-pound Witt Jr., considered a five-tool shortstop, turns 19 next Friday. The Colleyville Heritage High School star has impressive power while making consistent contact with a smooth right-handed swing.
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