ARLINGTON, TEX. — Orioles manager Brandon Hyde watched the draft from Texas on Monday night. But he has done enough recon both inside the organization and from his contacts outside Baltimore to have a glowing assessment of catcher Adley Rutschman, the first overall pick out of Oregon State.
"In talking to a lot of scouts and talking to people, watching a lot of video, he does it really easy," said Hyde, himself a former catcher in college and in the minors. "He's got unbelievable feet, he's got a really strong, accurate arm, blocks really well, commands the game well.
"He's kind of been [Oregon State’s] captain. The makeup everybody talks about is off the charts. He takes control of the field and he switch-hits really, really well from both sides of the plate. We're fortunate to have him, and we can't wait to get started with him."
Rutschman, who is a front runner to win the Golden Spikes Award for the nation's best collegiate player, followed last year's star turn for the College World Series winners by batting .411/.575/.751 with 17 home runs and elite plate discipline at the heart of the Beavers' lineup.
Though the draft came after the weekend in which Oregon State was eliminated from the NCAA tournament, Hyde — speaking from as much a layman's perspective as the manager of the team with the No. 1 pick could — said he hopes Rutschman and all involved in the pick got to enjoy it.
"Obviously, a huge honor, and we're excited to have him," Hyde said. "Congratulations to Mike and all the scouts for the job that they've done. It's really cool. Obviously, it's an unbelievable thing for him and his family, and I'm looking forward to meeting him sometime soon."