The player who represents perhaps the most desired outcome of Adley Rutschman’s upcoming career visited Camden Yards this weekend.

Buster Posey, the San Francisco Giants catcher whose career includes a Rookie of the Year honor, an MVP and three World Series titles, doesn’t personally know Rutschman, the Oregon State catcher who ranks among the options to be the Orioles’ first overall pick when the Major League Baseball draft begins Monday. But he knows the impact an offensively talented backstop can have on a franchise.


“If you can put a guy behind the plate that can hit in the middle of the order,” Posey said, “it’s just obviously gonna lengthen your lineup so much.”

Breaking down the draft's top two prospects in Adley Rutschamn and Bobby Witt Jr., whom the Orioles might choose with the first pick in the 2019 MLB draft.

If the Orioles select Rutschman first overall Monday, they could do worse than wish he follows Posey’s path. Both were college catchers who impressed on both sides of the ball. The Giants took Posey out of Florida State with the fifth overall pick in 2008, one of only seven catchers to go in the draft’s top five since the Minnesota Twins took high schooler Joe Mauer first overall in 2001.

Posey quickly progressed through San Francisco’s system, making his debut late in the 2009 season. Posey was up on a permanent basis by late May 2010, winning the National League Rookie of the Year award and guiding the Giants to the first of three championships in a five-year span.

While Mauer presents another ideal for what Rutschman could become, he moved from catcher to first base in his age 31 season. Posey, 32, is still catching regularly. But throughout his career, he’s had to quiet questions about a position change.

Texas high school shortstop Bobby Witt Jr., California first baseman Andrew Vaughn and other potential top picks play positions that will allow them to regularly play at least 150 games a season, while Rutschman or any catcher would play closer to 120 behind the plate.

“It’s hard to say if there’d be more value being in there an extra 25 games or whatever it may be,” Posey said.

It's not just Adley Rutschman vs. Bobby Witt Jr. Here's a look at some of the other well-regarded players outside the top two MLB draft prospects.

Posey, who homered and scored three runs as the Giants’ designated hitter in an 8-2 victory Saturday at Camden Yards, said he believes he makes up for those lost games with his defensive impact. Since 2012, Posey, a one-time Gold Glove winner, ranks behind only Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout in wins above replacement, which measures players’ complete performance, not only what they contribute with their bat.

Rutschman, too, is highly regarded for his defensive play. His switch-hitting bat, though, is so impressive that in an NCAA regional game Friday, Cincinnati led by three and still elected to intentionally walk Rutschman with the bases loaded. He came around to score the go-ahead run. But the Beavers lost 7-6 and fell 4-1 to Creighton on Saturday to get eliminated from the tournament a year after winning the national championship with Rutschman as the College World Series’ Most Outstanding Player.

Rutschman won’t get to enjoy getting his name called in the same manner Posey did, surrounded by his teammates preparing for a super regional. Still, Posey hopes Rutschman savors whatever Monday holds.

“Just enjoy where you are right now,” Posey said. “Try not to look too far ahead and enjoy the process of everything you’re about to go through.”

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