The Baltimore Orioles may be moving Adley Rutschman up this weekend after a quick, yet eventful, stint in the Gulf Coast League.
If you’re itching to get your first live look at Baltimore Orioles first-round pick Adley Rutschman in a professional baseball uniform, you may not have to wait much longer (unless you’re an O’s fan in Florida who has been able to catch a Gulf Coast League game). Per MASN’s Roch Kubatko, the Orioles are expected to promote Rutschman to the Aberdeen Ironbirds, the New York-Penn League Low-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles, for Saturday’s contest against the Hudson Valley Renegades (Tampa Bay affiliate).
After a delayed start to his professional career due to a case of mono, Rutschman has appeared in four games for the Gulf Coast League Orioles over the past week, providing instant entertainment and an extreme thirst for more and more content among fans as they impatiently await his move to an affiliate a bit closer to home.
It didn’t take long for Rutschman to make an impact, going 1-4 with a home run in his first game in the GCL. Thanks to Baseball America’s Josh Norris, we were all able to enjoy the sights and sounds of that blast from the left side of the plate here.
In total, the 21-year-old switch-hitting catcher is 3-11 (.273) with one home run, two singles, two RBI, and a stolen base, if you’re interested in GCL stats. Rutschman also drew an intentional walk in Tuesday’s contest, an odd event to see in the GCL. Is Rutschman already striking that much fear into the hearts of opposing pitchers? Did the Atlanta Braves affiliate just need to practice their IBB signal? Maybe they were hoping to practice a double play? Who knows, but I’m going with the idea that the opposing pitcher just didn’t want to face Rutschman. Does anyone really want to pitch to him?
If you haven’t already secured tickets to an Aberdeen this weekend, I suggest you hurry up and get on that. I imagine tickets are going to go pretty quickly once the move is made official. Obviously, the most important thing here is doing what’s right for Rutschman and his development.With just a few weeks of regular season ball left in the minor leagues and Rutschman coming off a full season at Oregon State, there’s no real reason to push him or throw him behind the plate five times a week, however, we could see something pretty special happen down on the farm to end the year.
The Delmarva Shorebirds (full-season A-ball affiliate of the Orioles) are currently 70-31 this season, thanks to the hot hitting of shortstop prospect Adam Hall and the lights out performances from pitching prospects Grayson Rodriguez, Drew Rom, Gray Fenter, Ofelky Peralta, and others. A playoff run with Adley Rutschman on the roster would be quite the sight for fans and a memorable experience for this group of Baby Birds to end the 2019 season. Can we take a moment and imagine Grayson Rodriguez throwing to Adley Rutschman as the Shorebirds grind their way to a 2019 South Atlantic League championship? I just got chills.
While the minor leagues are about development, not wins, as a good friend who is currently pitching in the minor leagues expressed to me, “You cannot overlook the importance of creating a winning culture in the minors. It’s contagious and only makes you want to keep winning and learning how to do it as a team.”
In Baseball America’s latest updated prospect rankings, Rutschman comes in as the top Orioles prospect and fifth-best prospect overall. I’d say it’s a pretty darn good time to a Baltimore Orioles fan.
If you are planning on a trip to an Aberdeen game this weekend, stay tuned for the official word on his movement.