The rise of the Baltimore Orioles have taken Major League Baseball by storm and shaken up the standings. Today, they are currently 1.5 GB of a Wild Card spot at the time of this writing and have skyrocketed to #13 in the power rankings. They started the season at 28, and in the preseason, they were 29.
Led by Rookie of the Year candidate, Adley Rutschman, the Orioles have posted a record of 22 – 15 since the All-Star Break, the best in baseball, and have found budding prospects in Felix Bautista, Gunnar Henderson, and Kyle Stowers.
Adley Rutschman has been the backbone of the exponential growth in success for Baltimore, and he now is the consensus #2 candidate for the American Rookie of the Year Award. To date, his slash line is .244/.355/.425 and an OPS of .780. He also has 8 HRs and 26 RBIs on the year. Amongst all rookies, Rutschman ranks 13th in hits, 3rd in BB with 47, 3rd in OBP, 11th in Slugging, and 4th in OPS.
The Baltimore Orioles have turned a corner. Is the postseason their next stop?
Where this gets interesting is when you compare his rookie numbers to the catching leaders, Rutschman ranks among the top 5 in his position, as a rookie. Amongst all catchers, Rutschman would rank 2nd in 2B with 26, behind Sean Murphy from Oakland, tied for 3rd in 3B with 1 with Sean Murphy and Will Smith from Los Angeles, 5th in HRs, 6th in RBIs, 3rd in BBs behind Alejandro Kirk and Sean Murphy, 5th in AVG, 2nd in OBP, 6th in Slugging, and 6th in OPS.
His BB% is in the 96th percentile in Major League Baseball, and since the All-Star Break Rutschman has a slash line of .272/.415/.432 with an OPS of .847. What is even more interesting is when Adley bats 2nd in the lineup his slash line is .261/.404/.417 with an OPS of .821. To add to the interesting stats, when he is at the plate, and there is 1 out his slash line is .304/.411/.510 with an OPS of .921. He also has 3 of his 8 HRs and 11 of his 26 RBIs – all with 1 out on the board.
What we can see here is that the Baltimore lineup is coming together with Cedric Mullins cemented in the leadoff spot, Rutschman in the 2nd spot, and it is possible the we see Gunnar Henderson move into the 3rd of 4th spots with Ryan Mountcastle, Anthony Santander, Austin Hays, Kyle Stowers, and Ramon Urias moving around in the next 5 spots in the lineup.
Now when talking about the Orioles we can’t leave out their bullpen, led by closer Felix Bautista, who has emerged as a Rookie of the Year Candidate himself, after the Jorge Lopez trade to the Twins. In Major League Baseball, their bullpen ranks 3rd in ERA, tied for 3rd in Saves, tied for 4th in WHIP, and 7th in K’s.
The team is still improving and there are still multiple draft picks coming through the pipeline. The Baltimore Orioles are a force, and this is just the start of something phenomenal.