OMAHA, Neb. – History made.
Adley Rutschman was named the 2019 Golden Spikes Award winner Thursday night in a ceremony at TD Ameritrade Park, becoming the first Oregon State player to win the honor. Presented in partnership with the Rod Dedeaux Foundation, the Golden Spikes Award recognizes the top amateur baseball player in the United States based on their athletic ability, sportsmanship, character and overall contribution to the sport.
Rutschman received the award in a presentation at the home of the College World Series prior to an MLB game featuring the Detroit Tigers and Kansas City Royals. It aired live on ESPN2’s “Baseball Tonight” pre-game show.
He is just the ninth Pac-12 Conference player to earn the award, and gives the league back-to-back selections after California’s Andrew Vaughn was recognized last season. Rutschman and Vaughn were teammates on the 2018 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team.
The Sherwood, Ore., native is just the fourth catcher to ever win the award, joining Florida’s Mike Zunino (2012), Florida State’s Buster Posey (2008) and Georgia Tech’s Jason Varitek (1994).
“USA Baseball is proud to name Adley Rutschman the 42nd winner of the Golden Spikes Award after a remarkable record-breaking season for Oregon State University,” said USA Baseball Executive Director and CEO Paul Seiler. “His ability to manage one of the elite pitching staffs in the nation while also leading the NCAA in multiple offensive categories was unmatched in the amateur game this year, making him a truly deserving recipient of this prestigious award.”
Rutschman had an historic season for the Beavers in 2019, setting a school-record with 76 walks, including 26 intentional, which is second in the nation. He batted .411, tied for the second-best single-season mark in OSU history, and added a national-best .575 on-base percentage, 17 home runs and 58 runs batted in. He also posted a .751 slugging percentage, which is second in a single-season at Oregon State.
Defensively, he was 13-for-27 against opposing basestealers and committed just four passed balls. He also helped manage a pitching staff that will likely end the season with the nation’s No. 2 earned run average at 3.02.
The 2018 College World Series Most Outstanding Player also holds school records for single-season hits (102 in 2018) and RBI (83 in 2018). He is the only player in school history to post two .400-plus batting averages after he hit .408 as a sophomore in 2018.
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He holds the Oregon State career record with 156 walks, is tied for fifth with 227 hits and is 10th with a .352 batting average. He ranks second with 174 RBI, third with 151 runs scored and 358 total bases, tied for fifth with 28 home runs and ninth with a .561 slugging percentage.
Rutschman is the eighth No. 1 overall MLB Draft selection to be named that season’s Golden Spikes Award winner. He joins Bob Horner (1978), Ben McDonald (1989), Phil Nevin (1992), Pat Burrell (1998), David Price (2007), Stephen Strasburg (2009) and Bryce Harper (2010).
The award adds to an already long list of honors for the backstop. He has been named the National Player of the Year by Baseball America, D1Baseball.com, Collegiate Baseball and Perfect Game, earning All-America honors as well from each publication.
The Pac-12’s coaches voted him as the Conference’s Player of the Year and Co-Defensive Player of the Year. He’s also a finalist for the Dick Howser Trophy – given to the top collegiate player per the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) – as well as the Buster Posey Award, which recognizes the catcher of the year.
From USA Baseball
Historically, Golden Spikes Award winners have gone on to have tremendous success in Major League Baseball. Of the 41 previous winners, five have earned Rookie of the Year honors, two have won the Cy Young, three were named MVP and 10 have won a World Series championship as a player or manager, combining for a total of 16 championships. In addition, 18 previous winners have made one or more All-Star Game appearances as a player or manager, combining for 56 total selections.
The award winner was selected through the distribution of ballots to a voting body consisting of national baseball media, select professional baseball personnel, previous Golden Spikes Award winners and select USA Baseball staff, totaling a group of over 200 voters and accounting for 95% of the vote. Fan voting continued to be a part of the Golden Spikes Award in 2018 and contributed to the remaining five percent of the total vote.