Why Adley Rutschman Can Make Orioles Baseball Great Again
If you follow baseball, you know that the Baltimore Orioles have not been respectable since 2016, and they have not won the American League East since 2014. Even if you do not watch baseball, you probably know that the Baltimore Orioles are just not that good.
Baltimore is in the third year of its massive rebuilding process. 2021 does not appear like it’s going to be Baltimore’s year, but I believe that the future is promising for the O’s.
A lot of young prospects are going to be on full display inside Camden Yards this year. One of those prospects may or may not be Adley Rutschman. Rutschman, who plays catcher, will most likely not debut this season, but his arrival is coming in Baltimore.
Rutschman, the second-ranked prospect in all of baseball, was the first overall selection in the 2019 MLB Draft by the Orioles. The Orioles may be taking their licks now, but Rutschman has the star power to make Orioles baseball great again!
The Catcher out of Oregon State
Adley Rutschman is an Oregon native who attended Sherwood High School. He had a high school career that garnered the attention of multiple colleges and professional franchises.
Rutschman was drafted in the 40th round of the 2016 MLB Draft by the Mariners, but he deferred pro baseball to attend Oregon State. Rutschman made an immediate impact in the Beavers baseball program as a freshman.
Rutschman hit .234 with two homers and 34 RBIs as a freshman. His numbers drastically improved as a sophomore in 2018. The catcher batted .408 and had an on-base percentage of .505.
In 2018, he hit nine homers and tallied 83 RBIs. Rutschman’s effort as a sophomore led the Beavers to their third Division I National Championship.
Rutschman’s 2018 numbers were impeccable, but he improved in 2019. He batted .411(BA)/.575(OBP)/.751(SLUG), with 17 home runs. After his junior season, Rutschman was ranked as the number one collegiate prospect and was taken first overall by the Orioles.
He received the Golden Spikes Award, which is given to the best amateur baseball player in the United States. Additionally, he was presented the Dick Howser Award in 2019, which is awarded to the collegiate baseball player of the year. Rutschman did everything that an athlete could do in the collegiate ranks.
Rutschman had a great start in the Orioles farm system. Rutschman signed an $8.1 million signing bonus which was the highest of all-time, but he did not disappoint during his first year in the minors.
Rutschman started his Minor League career with the Gulf Coast League Orioles for five games before being promoted to the Aberdeen IronBirds, Baltimore’s High A affiliate. He excelled with the IronBirds, and Baltimore was quick to move him to the Delmarva Shorebirds, which is the team’s Single-A affiliate.
He totaled 37 games with the three clubs where he hit .254, had an OBP of .351, with four home runs and 26 RBIs.
Rutschman did not play in 2019 because the farm system was not active due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If Rutschman had a full year of at-bats under his belt in 2020, he would most likely be Baltimore’s catcher on Opening Day this season.
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Does Rutschman Get the Call in 2021
Rutschman will start the season in Double-A ball, according to Orioles General Manager Mike Elias.
Elias told the Baltimore Sun that
“He should get here pretty quickly, and I hope has a pretty smooth ride through the minor leagues, but he just hasn’t played minor league baseball yet, really. The guy hasn’t played in Double-A or Triple-A. That’s really unprecedented. I think we’ve got to take it one step at a time here to try to check off those boxes.”
I think Rutschman will get the call to the show if he progresses in a way that’s similar to what we saw in his collegiate years. The 23-year-old kid is a generational talent who will be a perfect frame for Baltimore’s winning formula over the next decade.
Baltimore should not rush Rutschman because that’s a quick way to destroy a star, but I cannot wait to see the organization’s number one prospect behind the plate in Oriole Park very soon.
Rutschman will bring excitement, talent, and production to Baltimore, which has not been a common theme in the O’s clubhouse.
Let’s Go O’s!
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