The Baltimore Orioles have the Major League Baseball’s top prospect in catcher Adley Rutschman. The 24-year-old catcher is knocking on the door of the big leagues and is expected to make his debut this season. Orioles fans have been waiting patiently for Rutschman and are excited to see what he will do at the highest level.
Last season, Rutschman split time between Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk. He hit .285 while mashing 23 home runs, driving in 75 RBIs, with a slash line of .397/.502/.899 over 123 games.
Rutschman is a top switch-hitting backstop that is already drawing comparisons of Matt Wieters. The Wieters comparisons aren’t giving Orioles fans the warm and fuzzies inside. Wieters was the last top catching prospect Baltimore had with upside and intense hype around him.
Does Adley Rutschman start the season with the Orioles or in Triple-A?
The Orioles drafted Rutschman with the first overall pick back in the 2019 MLB Draft out of Oregon State University. Since being drafted by the Orioles, Rutschman has had all the hype of a No. 1 overall selection. The switch-hitting catcher backed up that hype last season at the dish.
As MLB and the MLBPA figure out the rules for the next CBA in baseball, those new rules will determine whether Rutschman will start in the majors.
If he starts in Triple-A the Orioles could allow him to get more seasoning in the system. Rutschman can utilize this time to continue developing routines on how to handle a big league pitching staff.
No matter what, Rutschman’s chance to play everyday in the majors is coming. It’s just a mere matter of when not if for the top prospect.
Tempering the expectations doesn’t mean lowering the bar of what to expect out of Rutschman
Currently the Orioles catching depth chart is thin. The organization agreed to minor-league deals with Jacob Nottingham and Anthony Bemboom this offseason. The duo could begin the season as the Orioles catching tandem, especially if the new CBA is similar to the old one regarding players service time.
Rutschman will quickly replace one of those catchers this season and be the No. 1 on the depth chart.
The one thing Orioles fans should focus on is tempering expectations for Rutschman once he arrives in Baltimore. The rookie catcher has already drawn considerable comparisons to Wieters. Tempering expectations doesn’t mean lowering the bar for the catcher.
The future in Baltimore feels bright with some of the young talent that has been stacked in the system. Rutschman is extremely confident and has the talent and skills that will translate to the next level. It’s time for baseball fans to get excited about the Orioles cornerstone prospect.
– Chris Henrique (@ChrisHenrique on Twitter)
Feature image courtesy of The Baltimore Sun
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