Days after receiving the largest signing bonus in Major League Baseball draft history from the Baltimore Orioles, No. 1 draft pick Adley Rutschman will be in Wichita on Thursday.
The former Oregon State catcher is one of three finalists for the Buster Posey Award, given annually at the Greater Wichita Sports Banquet to the nation’s top collegiate catcher. The banquet is being held at the Hyatt Regency Wichita with the reception beginning at 5:30 p.m. and the program starting at 8 p.m.
Rutschman agreed to terms Monday with the Orioles on a contract that included an $8.1 million signing bonus. The switch-hitting catcher led Oregon State to the 2018 College World Series championship and was chosen Most Outstanding Player, then followed that up by winning the Golden Spikes Award and Dick Howser Trophy after batting .411 with 17 home runs, 58 RBIs and 57 runs this season.
The other two finalists for the Buster Posey Award are Georgia Tech’s Kyle McCann and UC Santa Barbara’s Eric Yang.
“We’ve had a lot of great catchers come to Wichita over the years and (Rutschman) is the latest,” Greater Wichita Sports Commission president Bob Hanson said. “We’re extremely excited to have him here.”
Another highlight will be the keynote speaker in Mike Martin, who just retired after this past season after 40 years as the Florida State baseball coach. Martin led the Seminoles to 17 trips to the College World Series and retired with the most wins in college baseball history: 2,029.
“I’ve known Mike for a long time now and he’s been here three times and he’s just an awesome individual,” Hanson said. “Just his knowledge and his wit and his compassion for his players and people, he’s going to be a great keynote speaker. It will be an awesome banquet, the people who come will really enjoy it.”
The banquet will also award excellence in sports at all levels from the Wichita area, as the Greater Wichita Sports Commission will hand out male and female awards for Wichita’s top high school, junior college and college athletes, as well as one for the top professional athlete.
Below are the nominations for each award:
Lynette Woodard High School Female: Kennedy Brown (Derby), Mya Kretzer (McPherson) and Torri Vang (Goddard).
Barry Sanders High School Male: Deron Dudley (South), Troy Fisher (Goddard), Caleb Grill (Maize) and Marcus Hicks (Northwest).
Junior College Female: Kyla Callins (Butler), Milica Kusmuk (Cowley) and DeJanae Roebuck (Hutchinson).
Junior College Male: Tanner Blackmore (Cowley), Andrew Kibet (Hutchinson) and Tavarius Wright (Butler).
College Female: Bria DeGrate (Newman), Shelby Hundley (Friends) and Rebekah Topham (Wichita State).
College Male: Tyler Mies (Newman), Jordan Murdock (Friends) and Aaron True (Wichita State).
Professional: Steven Iacobellis (Thunder), Mikhail Lindsay (Force) and Brison White (Wizards).