After the graduation of Wander Franco passing his rookie eligibility, we meet a new number one prospect. Baltimore Orioles catcher Adley Rutschman is now MLB’s number one overall prospect. He was drafted as the first overall selection in 2019. After displaying what he can do from both sides of the plate, he is on his way to AAA Norfolk.
The former Oregon State product has been hitting exceptionally well this season. Through 80 games with AA Bowie, Adley Rutschman hit .271, 18 home runs, and 55 RBI’s. It is also worth mentioning he had 16 doubles as well. Rutschman can provide a huge upside for the offense. Currently, the Baltimore Orioles have struggled this season, but the future could look bright for the young O’s.
Currently, Pedro Severino is the Orioles starting catcher. Severino joined the team for the 2019 season and has been able to keep his bat in the lineup. The catcher is hitting .236 with 9 home runs. With not much to back up Severino, Rutschman could easily slide into the starting role once he is ready. The Orioles also have Austin Wynns as another catcher, but his backup role could be in jeopardy if Rutschman continues to perform as he is.
The Orioles are not too far off from having more pieces to add to their build. With Rutschman to slide into a starting role hopefully come Opening Day 2022, other names could be moving up with Rutschman this season. Two pitchers have been tearing up, with Rutschman behind the dish catching their ballgames. Standouts Grayson Rodriguez and D.L. Hall have been making the impact the Orioles were looking for through the farm system. Through 11 starts in AA, Rodriguez holds a 4-1 record, striking out 74 with a 2.63 ERA. D.L. Hall has made seven starts in AA Bowie, striking out 56 with a 3.13 ERA. There could be a dynamic trio in Baltimore for years to come.
Off the field, Rutschman, Rodriguez, and Hall are great friends and partake in many activities together. If the Orioles can keep them all together, Orioles fans could get very excited for the future of their organization. Also, the Orioles drafted two outfielders in the last two MLB Drafts, so the rebuild process can come quicker than expected. Outfielders Heston Kjerstad and Colton Cowser could also make their way through the organization rapidly. Kjerstad has been sidelined due to injury this year, but his bat is set to make an impact throughout the minor leagues upcoming for 2022. Cowser has begun his professional career with the FCL Orioles, adjusting quickly with his first professional home run through three games.
As Rutschman head up to AAA, there can be some guys who are following right behind him. Currently, in 5th place in the AL East Standings, their team needs a lot of work. At a 38-72 record, it’s clear that they are out of playoff contention and beginning to develop their farm system more. Will the Orioles make some noise this offseason to help prepare their future with Adley Rutschman?