Adley is the son of Carol and Randy Rutschman. He has one sister, Josie. Randy played collegiately at Linfield College in Oregon. Grandfather, Ad, was head football coach at Linfield until 1991.
In 2016, Adley graduated from Sherwood High School in Oregon. He lettered in both baseball and football all four years.
In football, Rutschman was a kicker and linebacker. And was second-team All-State as a kicker. Adley booted a state-record 63-yard field goal as a senior in 2015. He was also a member of the National Honor Society.
In 2016, the Mariners chose Rutschman in the 40th round, but Adley chose to honor his commit to Oregon State. He played football in the fall for the Beavers, serving as placekicker on kickoffs, and averaged 59.5 yards per kick. And in 2017, as a freshman, Adley's defense helped Oregon State to the College World Series.
And he was named Most Outstanding Player at the 2018 CWS. He earned that honor by setting a CWS record with 17 hits, and he drove in 13 runs while hitting .567/.650/.867 to help lead Oregon State to its third national title.
In the summer of 2018 with Team USA, he led in each triple slash category, hitting .355/.432/.516 in nine games.
Rutschman’s 102 hits and 83 RBI in 2018 both set single-season records for the Beavers, with the hit crown formerly held by All-Star center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury. Rutschman’s .408 average last year ranks third-best in school history.
2019: Rutschman set a school single-season record by drawing 66 walks, and he has struck out just 36 times.
Adley was the best draft prospect since Bryce Harper in 2010. It is, as much as anything, a testament to his focus, determination and competitiveness, traits that those around him have long seen.
Rutschman grew up playing football and baseball. When he was in fifth grade, he hurt his wrist, which should have sidelined him for a couple weeks. Instead, his father Randy said, he decided he would learn to be a kicker.
“He just went out and kicked and kicked and kicked,” Randy said.
As a high school senior, Rutschman kicked a 63-yard field goal, the fifth-longest ever by a high schooler. He also was an all-state linebacker and quickly found success as a kicker for the Beavers before his football career ended before his sophomore year.
“He’s one of the most determined people I’ve been around in my life,” Randy Rutschman said. “If he decides to be good at something, he does it.”
It has always been like that for Rutschman. Randy said he never pushed baseball on Adley and wasn’t the reason his son became a catcher. Randy is the son of a coach himself—Ad Rutschman is in the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame, won three football national titles at Linfield and a baseball national title, making him the only coach to have won national championships in both sports—and he was cognizant of not wanting to force anything on his son.
Adley simply liked to play outside—baseball, basketball, tag, anything. Sometimes when he would come home from a game, he would see a group of kids playing something in the neighborhood and demand his father stop and let him out of the car so he could join.
He has always been competitive, a trait he picked up as much from his mother Carol.
“Always, whether it’s Scrabble, Ping Pong, or baseball, he’s got my wife’s dislike for losing and my love for winning,” Randy said.
Rutschman said he looks up to Albert Pujols, Mike Trout and Russell Wilson because of how they play the game and how they carry themselves on and off the field. If he even comes close to reaching his lofty potential in pro ball, he figures to make a similar impact on the game and in the city where he plays. Fans have seen it in Corvallis. Soon they’ll see it in the big leagues. (Teddy Cahill - Baseball America - June, 2019)
June 2019: The Orioles chose Rutschman with the #1 pick (#1 overall), out of Oregon State University.
June 24, 2019: The Orioles signed Rutschman $8.1 million. It's a new record for Draft bonuses, eclipsing Gerrit Cole's $8 million bonus as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 Draft.
I’d just like to say how fortunate I am to play at the professional level and for a legacy organization like Baltimore,” Adley said after being selected as number one overall in the MLB Draft. “I’m going to play the best that I can play and work as hard as I can. Everything else will take care of itself. Obviously, this is a huge honor and I’m looking forward to it.”
“It’s hard to know where to start with Adley Rutschman. He’s a switch-hitting catcher with power, plus he can hit from both sides with an unbelievable statistical resume,” Orioles executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias said. “He’s a team leader on and off the field. He’s everything you want and he plays a premium defensive position with athleticism that gives him versatility to play elsewhere, as needed.”
Rutschman is the sixth catcher in history to go No. 1 overall, and the first since Joe Mauer in 2001. This is the first time Baltimore has chosen a backstop with its first-round pick since taking Matt Wieters out of Georgia Tech in 2007. Rutschman is also OSU’s first top overall pick, and the first native Oregonian to be selected in that spot since Dave Roberts by the Padres in 1972.
Rutschman said he was alerted a minute before Commissioner Rob Manfred announced the pick at MLB Network’s studios in Secaucus, N.J., ending speculation that had built for weeks as the Orioles held their plans close to the vest. “Today’s been crazy -- crazy good,” Rutschman said. “You never know how it’s going to shake out and what the organization is thinking. There was doubt, and I didn’t know what was going to happen.” (Trezza - mlb.com - 6/3/19)
Adley played for the Oregon State football team during his freshman year. Rutschman was a kickoff specialist, averaging 59.5 yards per kick with 20 touchbacks.
Rutschman also recorded one tackle that season, when Stanford University’s Christian McCaffrey broke through Oregon’s State’s kick return coverage. McCaffrey was the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year and is now an All-Pro running back with the NFL’s Carolina Panthers. (Kelly - mlb.com - 6/3/19)
Rutschman’s grandfather, Ad, is a coaching legend in the state of Oregon. Ad Rutschman is the only collegiate coach at any level to win multiple national championships in baseball and football, doing so with Linfield College in McMinville, Oregon. Adley’s father, Randy, is also a revered catching coach in the area. (Kelly - mlb.com - 6/3/19)
In 2019, Adley was Baseball America's College Player of the Year.
Rutschman hit.411/.575/.751 with 17 home runs, 76 walks and 38 strikeouts. He left his mark on the Oregon State record book, setting the career walks record (156), ranks second in RBIs (174) third in runs (151) and is inside the top 10 of nearly every major offensive category.
Andy is the fourth catcher to win the BA Collge Player of the Year award, joining Florida's Mike Zunino (2012), Florida State's Buster Posey (2008) and Georgia Tech's Jason Varitek (1994).
Jan 20, 2020: The Adley Rutschman show is coming to Sarasota, Florida. The Orioles have extended their No. 1 prospect a formal invitation to Major League Spring Training. Rutschman, the first overall pick in the 2019 Draft, will be among them. Pitchers and catchers must officially report to the club’s Ed Smith Stadium on Feb. 11, with the first official workout scheduled for Feb. 12. Orioles general manager and executive vice president Mike Elias said during the Winter Meetings that Rutschman was likely to make an appearance in big league camp in some capacity.
“We would love to get him to the Major League side,” Elias said in December. "He’s a catcher, which is always useful, and I think it’s great exposure for him to get the Major League side of Spring Training and learn the whole organization.”
That’ll be the goal for what should be a brief but productive stay with the big leaguers for Rutschman, who isn’t a realistic candidate to break camp with the club just yet. The idea is to give Rutschman the chance to get his feet wet, acclimate to some of the system’s upper-level pitchers and see some exhibition at-bats against better competition. The Orioles open their spring schedule on Feb. 22 vs. Atlanta at CoolToday Park. Their first home game is set for the following afternoon against Boston.
The switch-hitting former Golden Spikes Award winner, Rutschman reached Class A Delmarva in his first pro season after signing for an $8.1 million bonus. He hit .254/.351/.423 with four homers in 37 games across three levels, rising from the Gulf Coast League to Class A Short-Season Aberdeen and eventually Delmarva. Rutschman was recently named MLB’s top catching prospect by MLB Pipeline, and he is viewed by some as one of the best prospects of the past decade. Rutschman is expected to begin the 2020 season at Delmarva, with the expectation that he could rise quickly if he performs well. (J Trezza - MLB>com - Jan 21, 2020)
Rutschman is the first No. 1 overall pick to earn a consensus top-5 selection in his first year of ranking eligibility since Bryce Harper (MLB: 2, BA: 1, BP: 1) in 2011.
2020 Spring Training Q&A with Adley:
MLB.com: Did you have a childhood nickname? Adley Rutschman: My childhood nickname was always “Rutsch.” When I was smaller, I was “Little Rutsch,” because my dad was “Rutsch” as well. Some people at school called me “Adds.”
MLB.com: What is your favorite food? Rutschman: Last meal on Earth? I’m a big BBQ guy. Ribs. Ribs are big. Food comes easy to me. I can eat burgers for days. Burgers and pizza.
MLB.com: What is the best meal you can cook? Rutschman: I’m a connoisseur of breakfast. If I’m cooking for myself, it’s going to be some sort of scramble, omelet, bacon, hash browns, biscuits and gravy ... with a side of fruit. I’d also toss in French toast and pancakes, if I can eat all of it. We’re going to have to go small portions of each. I just love every part of breakfast.
MLB.com: What is your favorite color? Rutschman: Sky blue. I enjoy the color. It reminds me of summer days listening to country music.
MLB.com: What were your favorite sports teams growing up? Rutschman: When I was really young, it was the Yankees, because [fellow Oregon native] Scott Brosius played for them and he was my dad’s good buddy. Then it was the Cardinals for a little bit. As I got older, it was the Mariners because they were the closest local team.
MLB.com: Who is your favorite musical artist? Rutschman: Current? Eric Church. All-time? Eric Church. He’s the man.
MLB.com: Who is your favorite non-baseball athlete? Rutschman: Russell Wilson.
MLB.com: What is your favorite movie? Rutschman: “The Shawshank Redemption” is my favorite all-time movie. I’m a big movie guy.
MLB.com: What is your favorite social media app? Rutschman: Instagram.
MLB.com: Who is your celebrity crush? Rutschman: Emily Ratajkowski.
MLB.com: What is your favorite off-field hobby? Rutschman: Golf.
MLB.com: What is your go-to vacation spot? Rutschman: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, or Maui.
MLB.com: Who was your childhood hero? Rutschman: My grandfather, Ad Rutschman.
MLB.com: Who is your baseball role model? Rutschman: Albert Pujols.
MLB.com: What is your best baseball memory? Rutschman: Winning the 2018 National Championship during my sophomore year at Oregon State.
MLB.com: Who is your favorite all-time Oriole? Rutschman: Cal Ripken Jr.
MLB.com: What is your favorite Minor League city? Rutschman: Burlington, Vermont. I also liked Aberdeen a lot.
MLB.com: Do you have any superstitions? Rutschman: I’m big on doing what worked the last time. If I get a hit, and I put my right batting glove on first, I have to put my right batting glove on first again. If I’m batting left-handed, I’ll put my right batting glove on first. If I am batting right-handed, I’ll put my left batting glove on first.
In a video posted by the Orioles’ player development team, top catching prospect Adley Rutschman interviewed his mom, Carol, for a Mother’s Day feature. Carol revealed that Adley shares the same birthday as Babe Ruth, pointing out that he’s also working toward playing in the same city that the Sultan of Swat was born.
Adley was quick to ensure Orioles fans that he has no desire to be traded to the Red Sox or Yankees like Ruth was. He does, however, face the tall task of becoming a star at the Major-League level after being born Feb. 6.
Since Ruth retired, no player with his birthday has gone on to make the Hall of Fame. And only three—Smoky Burgess, Bob Wickman and Richie Zisk—have made multiple All-Star appearances. Oddly enough, the only two active MLB players with the same birthday are also catchers: Zack Collins of the White Sox and the Pirates’ Luke Maile. (May 10, 2020)
One day, the idea that Adley stood in the box to face live pitching at Camden Yards will be just a footnote.
“Right now, being at Camden Yards being able to hit on a big league field, there is definitely adrenaline going on,” Rutschman said. “To stand in the box and face big league arms and take it in for the first time, it’s something you never get back. It reminds me of the first time I stood in at the College World Series, the first time I stood in in a college stadium. You never get that first time back. I hope there will be another first time at every single stadium, whenever that is. But to have that first feeling, it’s unbelievable. It’s so exciting and you never get it back.”
Arriving at Summer Camp 2020 as part of the Orioles' player pool, Rutschman participated in his first intra-squad action the following night, under the lights at Oriole Park. He’s spent his afternoons largely the same way he did early this spring, catching bullpens, doing cage work and, Baltimore hopes, soaking up as much as he can from the big leaguers in camp.
Rutschman said, “I think the opportunity to be in a big league ballpark with big league guys, just like Spring Training, is a tremendous learning opportunity for me. Catching big league guys, seeing what they like to do -- it’s all been beneficial. I am just excited to be here and learn from everybody around me.” (Trezza - mlb.com - 7/13/2020)
After the baseball world shut down, Adley returned to his offseason home in Washington state to endure the COVID-19 pandemic. To keep their Minor League players engaged during the pause, the Orioles' player development department curated yoga sessions, mindfulness meetings, meditation and cooking classes on Zoom, in addition to providing weight-training programs. Rutschman said his favorites were the group cooking sessions, where he learned to make baked salmon and pesto chicken.
“We were trying to stay on the healthier side,” he said. "The cooking classes were awesome, man. Those were a fun time. There were a lot of people on the calls and seeing what other people can do not in a baseball setting was really funny.”
Rutschman also had time to bleach his hair blond. “I’ve definitely gotten lot of comments about it,” he said. And he simulates baseball activity on his own, often sending videos of drills he was working on from Spring Training to Orioles catching coordinator Tim Cossins during the layoff.
“He looks great,” said manager Brandon Hyde. “Swinging the bat really well. He’s been catching some Major League pitching the last couple of days, and he does it easy. He’s done a nice job of putting a lot of work and time in these past few months. He’s in shape and ready to go, so it’s been fun watching him the last couple of games.”
Rutschman said, “I am just here [at Summer Camp 2020] to do the best I can and get better every day. Whatever comes from that is meant to be. I’m just happy to be here right now.” (Trezza - mlb.com - 7/13/2020)
Oct 1, 2020: Top position prospect: Adley Rutschman, C (No. 1 on Orioles Top 30)
Stop us if you’ve heard this one, but Rutschman is really, really good at baseball. In these kinds of stories, an attempt is made to spread the love around, but when a guy is the best player at the alternate training site, he’s the best player. And Rutschman, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 Draft, was the best player.
“He’s been great,” Orioles farm director Matt Blood said. “He’s doing everything he’s being asked of and more. He’s been a great leader. It’s a well-rounded skill set that keeps getting better. It’s an impact skill set in every facet of the game. It was impressive to watch him work, and he got better every single day.”
Rutschman, baseball's No. 2 overall prospect, didn’t get to show off too many of his tools during his pro debut a summer ago, picking up just 130 at-bats and slashing a combined .254/.351/.423, showing glimpses of what’s to come when he posted a .325/.413/.481 slash line in 20 games at Class A Short Season Aberdeen. As good and as advanced as he is, he works at his craft and is willing to make changes to improve that will help him in what is sure to be a rapid rise to Baltimore. (J Mayo - MLB.com - Oct 1, 2020)
Rutschman posted a .325/.413/.481 slash line in 20 games at Class A Short Season Aberdeen in 2019. As good and as advanced as he is, he works at his craft and is willing to make changes to improve that will help him in what is sure to be a rapid rise to Baltimore.
“He likes to tinker, make incremental improvements,” one Orioles' organization coach said. “He’s very open to finding ways to improve, finding ways to do things even better than how he is currently doing them. That allows him to improve on his already advanced ability.
"He’s working on very micro things in his swing that allow him to be more efficient and ultimately more consistent with his production. That’s something he did in Bowie. He started out a little slow. Once he made adjustments, he exploded and took off.”
In 2020, Adley gained valuable experience in the O's major league spring training before spending the summer dominating the team’s alternate site at Bowie, Md.
Rutschman entered his junior year at Oregon State as the best player in his 2019 Draft class. This came after a strong sophomore year that included a College World Series title and CWS Most Outstanding Player Award and an impressive turn with Team USA. He then exceeded expectations as a junior by hitting over .400 with 17 homers en route to winning both the Golden Spikes and Dick Howser Awards. All of that made him an outstanding choice at the top of the Draft, with the Orioles signing him for a record $8.1 million bonus. Despite a bout of mono delaying his pro debut, the talented catcher still managed to reach full-season ball during his pro debut. (mlb.com - 2021)
How does a top MLB prospect stay sane in quarantine? Holed up in his parents’ Oregon house, Adley did what he could, participating in the Orioles’ virtual mental health seminars and sneaking away to a local field with his father, Randy, to hit during 2020’s shutdown. But like the rest of us, Rutschman spent most of that time at or near home. That meant bonding with the people there, the people who, in many ways, have always been there. For Rutschman, that meant his younger sister, Josie.
"We spend as much time together as we can at home,” Adley said. “We definitely play off of each other, and have very similar tastes in comedy. We laugh at a lot of the same stuff, and when we’re together at family functions, it’s a lot of energy and a lot to handle. We get a little rowdy when we’re together.”
Two years his junior, Josie grew up trailing Adley on the travel baseball circuit, learning enough about the game and her brother’s ability to even critique his swing now and again. But her true passion, she learned in high school, lay in helping others. Now as her brother gets a long look in his second big league camp with the Orioles, Josie is doing her part to help bring the pandemic to a close, administering COVID-19 vaccines at a primary care clinic in McMinnville, Ore.
Thousands of miles apart now on completely opposite ends of the country, both Rutschmans are making an impact, on the field and off. “She’s always been a very good athlete, but more passionate about school and pursuing her career,” Adley said. “It’s a good dynamic we have and she’s very, very smart in her respective area, very accomplished. I’m super proud of her for that.”
The Rutschmans still cherish their memories from lockdown, which they believe drew them closer. Josie taught Adley how to cook. He taught her how to golf. They binge watched The Boys on Amazon Prime, Scandal on Hulu, and co-starred in a series of TikTok videos about life in the Rutschman house. In one, Josie cuts Adley’s hair. In another, Adley buys his mother, Carol, a car.
“We do so much together,” Josie said. “My draft section on TikTok is insane right now. I wish he would let me post some of those videos because they’re so funny. We’ll spend hours on a video and then he’ll say don’t post it. I’m like: ‘Are you serious?’”
More time for creative collaboration is on the horizon. If not for the pandemic, Adley would’ve begun 2020 at Double-A and likely been knocking on the Major League door right now. As it happened, he’ll begin 2021 at Double-A, probably pushing his debut to 2022. That’s also the year Josie is eyeing for physician’s assistant graduate programs. Two schools she’s planning to apply to? The University of Maryland and Towson University—both a stone’s throw from Baltimore.
“Wouldn't it be great,” Carol asked, “if she could go to school in Baltimore and watch the Orioles?" (Trezza - mlb.com - 3/17/2021)
June 2021: Adley was chosen to represent the Orioles in the All-Star Futures Game.
Fans at Bowie Baysox games can find Orioles catching prospect Adley Rutschman meeting pitchers on their way off the field at the end of each inning rather than immediately heading to the dugout. The catcher developed the habit while growing up and has stuck with it ever since.
During those brief meetings, Rutschman and the pitcher discuss what the pitcher may have liked or disliked about that inning and what he can do to improve.
“I think it’s always important to dissect and have some sort of feedback, just to be able to create that relationship and be able to know that I have their back no matter what,” Rutschman said. “That’s kind of what it represents to me, and I just want to be there for them.” (July 7, 2021 - Emma Shuster)
Adley’s Triple-A career couldn’t have started much better than it did August 10, 2021, with his collecting two hits and catching a one-hit shutout in his debut at Norfolk. Trezza - mlb.com - 8/11/2021)
Sept. 26, 2021: Triple-A Norfolk's Rutschman and his Tides’ teammate, Kyle Stowers were named the Orioles’ top minor league players of the season. The MLB named him the Top MLB Prospect. This should shock nobody, as Rutschman stands as MLB's No. 1 prospect and spent the bulk of his season in the Double-A Northeast. But nor should his status reduce the accomplishment. The 23-year-old catcher batted .271/.392./508 with 18 homers over 80 Double-A games, placing third in the league with 55 walks despite limited time there.
Oct 13, 2021: Earlier in October, Rutschman returned home to Oregon after the longest season of his life. Seriously . . . Rutschman’s first full year of pro ball ran from February at Major League Spring Training to early October at Triple-A Norfolk. And he played almost every day behind the plate.
So naturally, Rutschman made sure one of the first things he did was get back on the field, this time with the company of 125 local kids. In partnership with USA Baseball, Rutschman hosted a baseball clinic at Charles B. Walker Stadium for Portland-area youth. The event marked the first in-person clinic from USA Baseball’s homegrown program, which strives to encourage elementary-age baseball and softball participation.
The camp was free for kids aged 5-12 from the greater Portland area. "I’ve been wanting to do something back home ever since I got drafted," Rutschman told USA Baseball. "I think the biggest thing when it comes to being a professional baseball player and having the opportunities that we have is the ability to give back. I’ve always been looking for that opportunity."
The homegrown program allowed for that, and for me to interact with the community of Portland and Oregon in general. It’s something I’ve dreamed of. It means a lot to me, just seeing all of the people that came out, all of the organizations that came out to help. I think that has had a bigger impact than we realize now, and this can continue to build and grow.” Sporting the Team USA jersey he wore for the collegiate national team in 2018, Rutschman led participants through numerous baseball stations, held a Q&A session, and signed autographs for every attendee at camp.
Rutschman grew up 20 miles southeast of Portland in Sherwood, Ore., and starred for Oregon State from 2017-2019. The Orioles drafted him first overall out of Corvallis in 2019; two years later, he’s rated the game’s top overall prospect by MLB Pipeline and expected to debut by early '22.
Rutschman also comes from a long line of decorated baseball instructors: his grandfather Ad won a national championship at Linfield University, and Rutschman's father Randy, is considered one of the nation’s premier amateur catching coaches. All of that made the clinic a natural fit for Adley, who has often spoken about the importance of giving back during his Minor League career.
"There is a sense of satisfaction that comes with giving back and that is definitely a benefit, and it is a reason you do it,” Rutschman said. “But, I think you reshape your mind in order to think that this is having a bigger impact than just you giving back. It’s really about the kids' experience and giving them something they can remember and build off of, and just trying to make sure they have a good time. Even that hour or two hours that you give, hopefully, goes further than just today." (J Trezza - MLb.com - Oct 13, 2021)
2021 Season: Rutschman is a rare plus offensive and defensive catcher. Widely regarded as the number one prospect in all of baseball by many national publications, Rutschman ended the year in AAA where he put up a .395 wOBA and 142 wRC+. A good hitter from both sides of the plate, he was a better hitter from the right side of the plate where he slashed .350/.439/.621/1.060 vs his .256/.377/.449/.825 mark as a left-handed hitter.
His lefthanded swing has more upper cut to it and can get long at times. He can get beat at times up and in on his hands, but he seemed to have closed that hole and shortened the swing a bit as the season went on. He’s an extremely smart hitter who can make adjustments within and at bat who gets in deep counts often with his plus awareness of the strike zone.
Defensively, he’s already a plus receiver who is able to get many fringe pitches called strikes for his pitchers. He throws well and learned to take care of his arm a bit throughout the season. He threw out 28% of base-stealers, but that should improve in the Major Leagues where pitchers are better at holding runners. He’s not afraid to throw behind runners accurately and fields his position well.
He blocks well behind the plate and is his pitchers biggest cheer leader, running out to them after each inning. If there is one area where he can improve it’s setting a still target. He tends to put up a late target that moves a bit as the pitcher is in his motion. Interestingly, he played a very good 1st base when he was rested behind the plate. He showed good hands and was able to make the double play throw to second base accurately.
He’s an extremely hard worker who’s work ethic rubs off on all his teammates. He’s a great teammate and will a be positive influence in any clubhouse. (Tony Pente - October 24, 2021)
In 2022, the Baseball America Prospect Handbook rated Adley as the Orioles #1 prospect in 2022.
Feb 17, 2022: O's best prospect drafted out of college - Adley Rutschman, C (No. 1, MLB No. 1)
All Rutschman did before becoming the No. 1 pick in the 2019 Draft was win the Golden Spikes Award (among a host of other honors) as the top player in college baseball in 2019 and get named as the College World Series Most Outstanding Player in 2018 in leading Oregon State to a title.
He finished his Beavers career with a .353/.473/.559 line, walking nearly 40 times more than he struck out. (Mayo, Callis, Dykstra - MLB.com - Feb 17, 2022)
Since 2004, no catcher has hit at least .280 with 30 home runs in a season. Jorge Posada was the last to do it when he hit .281 with 30 home runs in 2003. The only other catcher to do it this millennium was Mike Piazza, who did it three years in a row from 2000-02.
If all goes according to plan, Adley will be the one to end that drought.
“You don’t have guys who can play the position like he can,” one National League pro scouting director said. “Controls the zone, has impact potential with the bat, has a chance to be a well above-average catcher. It’s just so rare.”
“He can be the best catcher in baseball and one of the best players in baseball,” one longtime American League pro scouting director said. “.280 with 30 bombs is perfectly reasonable. That type of production. He’s a well-rounded offensive player, he’s going to get on base, he’s going to hit for power, he’s going to make contact. He’s a very, very good offensive player at the hardest position in baseball.”
“He reminds me of a young Buster Posey a lot in the way that he carries himself,” one opposing scout said. “Very quiet, very respectful, tremendous leadership that shows on the field. Plays hard. I like the way he calls the game, I like how he takes charge behind the dish … He’s going to be a franchise player.” (Kyle Glaser - Baseball America - March, 2022)
MLB debut (May 21, 2022): Called up before the 6-1 loss to the Rays at Camden Yards almost three years after he was drafted, Rutschman—baseball's No. 1 prospect—invited standing applause for nearly every facet: His announcement in the starting lineup, his first time announced as a batter (and each of the ensuing three times on the night), his first putout behind the plate, and even, yes, his first strikeout.
But none was larger than on his first hit, a triple in the seventh inning.
“I'm still running on nerves right now,” Rutschman said afterward. “Just from the second that I walked out onto the field to warm up the pitcher, ‘til the time I walked into the tunnel, an emotional overload. I can't really explain the feeling, because it's just unlike anything else I've ever experienced.” (Z Silver - MLB.com - May 22, 2022)
- The Boston Red Sox and Orioles made the Sunday’s trek to Williamsport to make some additional memories for the 20 teams of Little Leaguers from around the world who are playing in the 75th Little League World Series this week. The big leaguers first met the Little Leaguers on their turf Sunday, going to Lamade for a meet-and-greet, autograph exchange and some hill-sliding, a tradition at the ballpark.
Orioles rookie catcher Adley Rutschman, who quickly is becoming the face of the franchise, spent much of the morning not only signing autographs but receiving signatures on his jersey from the Little Leaguers.
“I thought it was a cool thing to have and just have them reciprocate it and have them feel what it feels like to sign something, I guess,” he said.(Connelly-TheAthleti.com-August 21st, 2022)
Sept. 2022: Rutschman sat down with The Athletic recently to discuss his season and his life. This Q&A has been lightly edited for clarity.
Let’s start with the obvious. What has it been like to be a big leaguer?
It’s been great. A lot of unexpecteds coming in, but I’ve said it the entire year, the guys in the locker room, the guys on the field, they make for your experience. And we have a truly tremendous coaching staff and team here, just the character of the guys. So, it’s everything I could have hoped for so far.
You debuted in May. Has this rookie year gone by quickly or does it seem like forever ago when you debuted?
It’s gone so fast. It’s been like go, go, go, go, go. And then you look up and we’re in September. So, it has definitely gone by really quick.
What’s been your favorite part of being a big-league catcher?
I’d say just being a catcher in general. It’s great to be able to work with someone. To have a different pitcher and a different team that you have to game plan for. It makes it real cerebral and fun from that aspect. In the big leagues, it’s just that every game is that much more important. So, you’re playing with a little bit more of an edge. And you allow that competitiveness to come out. You can let it all out.
Your dad, Randy, has been your catching instructor over the years. Do you still talk catching with him now?
I wouldn’t say (we talk) technique and stuff like that. He’s always been a guy who, if I ask him something, that’s when he talks. But he’s never gonna go out of his way to say, “Hey, I’m seeing this.” Which is one of the things I love about him. He’s got tremendous feel for how I go about my business and just the game of baseball. But we will talk catching, especially during the offseason, because we’ll do some stuff together. But during the season, no. He wants me to decompress, so most of the time we talk it’s not about baseball.
Is that the way it is with your immediate family?
They have a pretty good feel for how I’m feeling after games. Usually, they know an appropriate time to bring up baseball. But most of the time we like to get away from talking about baseball because I’m at the field for nine hours or more a day. It’s baseball, baseball, baseball. So, when I get home, I want to decompress.
What about your grandfather (College Football Hall of Fame coach Ad Rutschman)? What’s his reaction to all of this?
He gets the most fired up about baseball, for sure. He’s texting me after games. He gets really excited. And that’s kind of our relationship. We have a ton of fun, but he is definitely the most openly excited about the games and what is going on. … I’ll see a text on my phone after the game. “Good job. Way to hit it hard.” That’s what he loves.
Your 360-degree absorption of Camden Yards before your debut is something that resonated with fans and served as a great welcome-to-the-show moment. Have there been others when you’ve realized, yeah, this isn’t the minors anymore?
Every new stadium that we play at, I like to go out early and take a look at the field and get my bearings a little bit, because everything is a little different. That’s definitely cool seeing new stadiums for the first time. Also, whenever it gets really loud in a stadium. I remember there was a moment in Houston. I think (Félix) Bautista was in and it was a close ballgame. They had a runner on first and second, I think. It was a big spot. And it got loouud. And it’s a dome (closed roof) and so everything gets amplified. And I remember smiling. Visibly smiling when that happened. He’s getting ready to throw a pitch and I’m like, “This is cool. This is cool.” And it’s nice I could be excited for that moment instead of nervous. So that definitely stands out.
You have a core of guys from the minors that you are close with, but has there been anyone you didn’t know before this year with whom you’ve really clicked?
Just from a catching standpoint, Robbie (backup Robinson Chirinos) has just been an unbelievable mentor to me. Having a locker right next to him is pretty fortunate; I’m not sure if that’s by design or not. But it’s definitely made for great conversation, just getting to know each other. We have a lot of great vets in here like Roogie (Odor) and (Anthony) Santander and (Austin) Hays, Ced (Mullins), all those guys. But I’d say just having that catching aspect and the willingness to teach, Robbie has been an unbelievable guy.
A lot has been made of your greeting of the pitcher at the end of every inning, something you’ve done since you were a kid. There was a question as to whether it would work in the majors with competitive big-league pitchers. Has it worked and if so, why?
I don’t know if it works or not, necessarily. The most important thing is just being yourself. That’s kind of how it started for me. It’s one of those things I felt. If guys had a good inning, I want to get excited with them. I know I’m excited. I know they’re excited. So, let’s be excited together. It’s one of those things that not every inning is gonna be a great inning, so sometimes you get a pat on the back. Like, “I’m here for you. Just keep going. We’ve gotta continue to grind.” And other times there’s gonna be moments of excitement, like good innings. It is definitely one of those feel things that’s not gonna be the same every time. I’m not gonna run out there and be like, “Oh, let’s go. Great job,” after I know they’re not happy with how they performed.
Have some guys come to expect it? It almost looks like Bautista and Cionel Pérez are waiting for you.
(Laughs.) I don’t know. I’m sure some guys like it more than other guys. It’s just one of those things I’ve done forever. I hope guys know now that it’s not just for show.
I’ve heard a day in the life of Adley Rutschman, big-league catcher, is pretty boring. Is that accurate?
It’s super vanilla. You’ve seen the movie “Groundhog Day”? That’s probably me to a T. I get my nine hours of sleep. Wake up in the morning, go get some coffee and some breakfast, whether it’s scrambled eggs or an egg sandwich or whatever. I leave around 1 o’clock. Get here (to the Orioles clubhouse), make a smoothie and then go in, activate in the weight room, early hitting, hit the tub. Then come in (to the clubhouse) after that. Then go out for BP, come back in for meetings, film, get ready for the game. Go out, play, go back. FaceTime a couple people or make some calls on the way home. Turn on the TV for a little bit. Go to bed. And rinse, repeat.
Do you have any hobbies or anything you enjoy besides playing baseball? You’re a fantasy football guy, right?
I just got into fantasy football this year. This is my first year doing fantasy. So many guys are into it that it’s one of those things that you’ve got to get into it. Like 40 percent of the conversation in here is about fantasy football, so you’ve gotta be in on it. Besides that, during the season, I’d say a large majority of my time is spent FaceTiming my friends or calling my parents. I watch TV shows. We’ve found some TV shows to watch with guys on the team. Maybe play some video games. That’s an off-and-on thing. It kind of phases in and out, depending on what guys are feeling.
What TV shows are you binging?
We’ve got “House of Dragons” right now. Every Sunday we were watching “The Bachelor.” We’ll probably watch “Bachelor in Paradise” when it comes out.
Didn’t you have a little fun with “The Bachelor” a couple of years ago?
Yeah, that was in 2020, alt-site, during COVID. I commented on a girl’s Instagram post (he filled out a roses-are-red poem for Madison Prewett, “The Bachelor” Season 24 runner-up who then flirted back initially). It kind of blew up. (The New York Post and Us Weekly wrote about it). That was basically it. (Prewett has since gotten engaged).
You gonna test those waters again?
(Laughs.) No. Based on how that went that time, probably not. We’ll probably stay away from that. (Laughs again).
I know you are a huge Marvel Cinematic Universe fan. Are you all caught up?
I haven’t seen the new TV shows that came out. I saw “Loki” when it came out. Loved it. I saw the new (“Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness”) movie. Saw the new (“Thor: Love and Thunder”) movie. Dr. Strange was OK. I wasn’t as impressed with that. I had high expectations for Thor, too. Probably too high. It wasn’t quite what I was hoping for. “Thor: Ragnarok” was my favorite Marvel movie ever. So, the new one didn’t quite live up to the hype for me.
Your Oregon State buddies jokingly called you Captain America, but he’s not your favorite Avenger, right?
Iron Man. It’s more how Robert Downey Jr. plays the character more than anything. I think he’s hilarious. I’m a huge fan of Paul Rudd (Ant-Man), too. Just the way they deliver their lines in the movies. Hilarious.
You are into all kinds of movies, right?
I’m into movies in general. It’s just hard to get to theaters during the season. We saw “Top Gun: Maverick” when we were in Boston. We saw Thor when we were in Chicago.
I know you organized a team trip to “Avengers: Endgame” when it came out when you were in college. Are you still the guy who plans the outings, and what are they usually?
Now it’s kind of a mix of what guys want to do. Now, we kind of allocate different off days to different guys. It’ll be like, “This is Kyle’s (Stowers) day, this is Gunnar’s (Henderson) day for off-day activities. We got a massage last off day, went to the mall. Maybe we’ll get some breakfast. Maybe go to a movie or get a massage. Hang out and watch football at night.”
OK, order time. I’m going to give you six huge moments in your sporting life, order them from least impactful to most impactful: Big-league debut, first MLB homer, being drafted first in 2019, winning a national title, tackling Christian McCaffrey in a Pac-12 game, kicking a high school state-record field goal in Oregon.
The McCaffrey one is No. 6; it’s cooler now because of what he has done after that. But I’d say that’s No. 6. No. 5, I’d say the field goal. The first home run is four. I’d say 1-1 (draft) and MLB debut are 2-3. I’ll say 1-1 (draft) is second. That’s tough. No, I’m gonna say my debut is two. Just because the emotion from that was way more. National championship (in 2018 at Oregon State) is No. 1.
Because of that tackle your freshman year when you were an Oregon State kicker and he was a star at Stanford, is McCaffrey more likely or less likely to be on your fantasy football team? Or is there no room for sentimentality when you’re fighting for a ’ship?
From an emotional standpoint? Absolutely. If I have a chance to take him, I would.
You grew up as a Seattle Seahawks fan. Would you allow yourself to take Russell Wilson now that he is in Denver?
He’s on my team. I’ll be in his DMs here shortly. He’s gotta know he’s on my team.
Did you have a must-draft guy or a guy you were targeting?
I had the third overall pick. I got Cooper Kupp (Rams wide receiver). I think Jonathan Taylor (Indianapolis running back) went 1-1 and then McCaffrey. Then I took Kupp. My second-rounder was Travis Kelce (Kansas City tight end).
You, Henderson, Stowers and Terrin Vavra are particularly tight from your time together in the minors. What does it mean to you to be sharing the big leagues with those three?
It’s really cool. I think when you see guys develop, and the more time you spend with people, the closer your connections get, the more emotional you get about things with each other. Me and Kyle started in short season together. Gunnar, he was my first roommate when I got down to Florida for that month I was there (in 2019). And Terrin, I played against him at (the University of) Minnesota in 2018 and then once he got to the alt-site in 2020, we became immediate friends. So, just to see where they came from just makes it that much more special. And they are just unbelievable guys, too.
Back to ranking. Break down and rank the hair/flow game of you four guys. It’s a pretty impressive hair bunch.
I mean, Stow’s got the San Diego blond thing. It’s elite. Gunnar’s got more of the slick-back, Alabama country look. And then T-man (Vavra) has got the clean-cut, good flow, good curls. I’m probably fourth. So, just because T-man (Vavra) doesn’t have as long of hair, I’m gonna put him at three. I’ll put Gunnar at two and Kyle one. I’ll take fourth.
For about four months you were the Orioles heartthrob for teenage fans and now, suddenly, some 21-year-old punk (Henderson) comes in and steals all the oohs and ahhs. Have you told him to get out of your lane?
(Laughs.) The week I had after the call-up was enough attention for me for my life. I’m good on that. He can have all of it. It’s awesome to see him doing so well and to come up and fit right in.
Anything else about you and your personality?
I’d say I don’t take myself too seriously. I try to have fun most of the time. I’d say I’m a completely different person on the field than I am off the field. I think it throws people off a lot of times. Because during games, especially when I’m catching, I’m very locked in, head down. And then off the field, I’m super, like, goofy, I guess would be the right word.
Who’s the guy who’s the most fun in the clubhouse?
I’d say the funniest guy is Joey Krehbiel. He is super quick with everything. Got a great sense of humor. His delivery is money. Like Tom Segura-esque.
Lastly, much has been made of what you guys have accomplished this year with you at the center of it. How do you sum that up?
I’d say it’s been an unbelievable year so far. We’ve still got some more games to go. This is the most exciting part of the year, right? (Dan Connolly)
Oct 3, 2022: Catcher Adley Rutschman didn’t make his Major League debut until May 21, but he made up for lost time and became the glue of an Orioles team that was in the Wild Card race until Sept. 30.
For his contributions with the bat and behind the plate, the O’s announced that Rutschman was voted the winner of the 2022 Louis M. Hatter Most Valuable Oriole Award by members of the local media who cover the team on a regular basis.
“It’s a great honor,” Rutschman said. “I’m very fortunate to play this game and be able to come out and compete. The guys around me make this experience. I’ve said it all year. It means a lot. I’m very thankful.” (B Ladson - MLB.com - Oct 3, 2022)
Oct 14, 2022: The moment Orioles fans waited nearly three years for came on May 21, when catcher Adley Rutschman was called up for his MLB debut. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 MLB Draft -- and MLB Pipeline’s No. 1 overall prospect at the time -- tripled in his first game and quickly lived up to the hype with his stellar play.
After going 52-110 in 2021, the O’s had a 31-game turnaround, finishing 83-79, three games back of the Rays for the third AL Wild Card berth. As MLB.com research expert Sarah Langs shared, the only teams to win more games coming off a 110-plus-loss season were the 1890 Louisville Colonels (88-44-4) and the 1899 St. Louis Perfectos (84-67-4).
Late in the season, manager Brandon Hyde told reporters the O’s “started playing a lot better when [Rutschman] got here.” To be exact, they went 16-24 before Rutschman’s arrival and 67-55 after he joined the team. His contributions in all phases of the game made a huge impact.This was the defining moment of the O's resurgent 2022.
Elias took over as GM in November 2018, tasked with leading the Orioles through their rebuild. The on-field product didn’t look great at first -- as evidenced by Baltimore's .341 winning percentage from 2019-21 -- but it was all about development.
Now, the Orioles are back in a position to better compete. And after a strong ‘22, winning Major League games will be a more realistic expectation moving forward.
“I feel this team is officially in the fight in the American League East,” Elias said.
2022 Season: 113 G, .254/.362/.445, 13 HR, 1 3B, 35 2B, 42 RBI, 70 R, 4 SB Of the MLB catchers who had 400 or more plate appearances, only five posted a higher wOBA than Adley Rutschman’s .344 (JT Realmuto, Will Smith, Willson Contreras, Alejandro Kirk, and Sean Murphy) and only six had a higher slugging percentage. Rutschman’s 70 runs scored trailed only Realmuto (75).
Rutschman’s prodigious plate discipline alone is worthy of high marks. His 13.8% walk rate ranked 12th out of all major league hitters with 400+ plate appearances and his chase rate (swings at pitches outside the strike zone) ranked 26th among all hitters using the same criteria. Enrobed in hype and tasked with adjusting to the big leagues and handling a new pitching staff, Rutschman still managed to become one of baseball’s elite offensive catchers almost instantly.
Defense was never a question with Adley Rutschman. Had he gone straight from Oregon State to Baltimore in 2019, he likely would’ve been an above average MLB defender even then.
You name the category, Rutschman is likely near the top of the leaderboard. Framing? His 4 framing runs placed him in the 84th percentile of qualified catchers. Pop time to second base? Rutschman’s 1.93 second average is in the 79th percentile.
The standout of his defensive game is the raw arm strength. His pop time is due in large part to the right arm Rutschman possesses – his average throw clocked in at 86.3 MPH. Needless to say, baserunner beware.
That dude has a hug that a Golden Retriever would die for. It’s no surprise that Félix Bautista became so dominant – I’d be throwing 101 too if I knew that hug was coming.
In all seriousness, it’s clear while watching Orioles games that Rutschman is the pitcher’s number one fan, living and dying with every single pitch. It has to be a boost to the pitcher’s confidence and overall clubhouse morale that their catcher (and presumptive face of the franchise) has the team’s back to that degree.
The Baltimore Orioles transformed the moment he made his major league debut and without whom, an 83 win season would have been nigh impossible. Rutschman is already one of Major League Baseball’s best catchers and should be expected to post more grade-A performances for seasons to come. ( Josh Linn - Nov. 3, 2022)
Nov 14, 2022: Rutschman finished as the runner-up to Rodríguez for AL Rookie of the Year, which was awarded to the Seattle outfielder on MLB Network. Rodríguez received 29 of the 30 first-place votes and finished with 148 points, while Rutschman had one first-place vote and 68 points from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballots.
Rutschman also received 18 second-place votes and nine third-place votes. Guardians outfielder Steven Kwan, the other finalist, finished third with 44 points (10 second-place votes and 14 third-place votes). (J Rill - MLB.com - Nov 12, 2022)
|Birth City:||Portland, OR|
|Draft:||Orioles #1 - 2019 - Out of Oregon State Univ.|
Rutschman's bat is behind his exceptionally-skilled defense. But, this switch-hitter has way-above-average 70 grade raw power and an extremely disciplined approach from both sides of the plate that is geared for hard contact. He has plus-plus 70 grade power and a plus-plus (70 grade) hit tool.
Bringing an advanced feel for the game on both sides of the ball with him from college, Rutschman has only matured more in learning what it takes to get through a long professional season. He’s learned to manage his energy at the plate and showed the ability to make adjustments from both sides of the plate against high-level pitching in the Minors. He has easily raw power from both sides of the plate and thanks to an advanced approach that saw him walk in 14.5 percent of his plate appearances and strike out in just 16.6 percent of them, he gives himself every opportunity to do damage. (Spring 2022)
Adley rarely swings and misses. His uncanny understanding of the strike zone means his already-modest strikeout numbers could fall as he advances to the majors and higher quality umpires. In 2021, he and the Orioles identified an issue with his load and landed on a change that allows him to let the ball travel deeper. In doing so, he was able to drive the ball more consistently by staying on plane with the pitch, all without sacrificing power or contact to do so
His line drive rate was 17.2% at Bowie, but with the changes taking hold, that rate jumped to 26.6% the last two months at Triple-A. The adjustment helps Rutschman better tap into his potentially elite power while elevating his average when he’s staying in the ballpark. (Jon Meoli - BA Prospect Handbook - Spring, 2022)
During his time with the Orioles in Bowie, Maryland, in 2020, Rutschman had the chance to sharpen what was already a pretty full suite of plus tools. The switch-hitter has an incredibly advanced approach, walking more than he struck out in college. He can drive the ball from both sides of the plate, with a ton of over-the-fence pop, while never selling out for power and showing the ability to make rapid adjustments against a higher level of competition last summer, 2020. (Spring 2021)
Adley is a patient hitter. And he has an excellent two-strike approach.
Rutschman rebuilt his swing in college to gear for more power and consistency. He continues to find ways to refine and make his swing more efficient as he learns the professional game. He went through an adjustment period at the Bowie camp after the coronavirus shutdown period halted most of his work, but he quickly revealed the all-fields power and consistent hard contact that give him potential to be a plus-plus hitter with plus-plus power at his peak.
Adley ended the summer of 2020 as the best performer at the O's alternate camp in Bowie, Maryland. His offensive production is aided by advanced plate discipline. Rutschman is clear in which pitches he’s able to drive and which he should lay off. He’ll likely see increased benefit from that when pitchers are around the strike zone more and umpires improve at the higher levels of the minors.
Rutschman broke down his swing and made some key mechanical changes. He changed his load and his stance, especially the position of his hands to enable his bat to stay in the zone longer.
“My philosophy, hitting-wise, is that a hitter needs to be as on time as much as possible,” Adley said. “If you’re not in a balanced position on time, it’s very hard to hit. I was trying to find a way to get into a good position on time. There are so many different loads, setups, that finding what works for me was crucial . . . I was working on that load and then the bat path.”
He improved his posture at the plate, repositioning his back leg to give him a better base. He also worked on his pre-pitch movement and timing to get into that balanced position he believes is a key.
Rutschman is a switch-hitter who works hard to maintain his swings from both sides of the plate and continues to improve it. The scouting report used to say that you wanted to turn him around from his natural lefthanded swing and make him hit righthanded. That wasn’t true, beginning in 2019.
Part of Rutschman’s plate discipline is a sheer force of will, a determination to not expand his strike zone and wait for a pitcher to come to him. But he also attributes it to the tracking drills he does when he spends a round of batting practice taking pitches so he can track their flight out of the pitcher’s hand.
“Some guys have better eyes than others, but it’s something you can work on,” he said. “The beautiful part of baseball is you can improve on everything.” (Teddy Cahill - Baseball America - June, 2019)
July 20, 2019: One game in, Adley Rutschman's pro career is already off and rolling. And in a big way.
Nearly seven weeks after the Orioles made him their second No. 1 overall pick in franchise history, Rutschman homered while making his professional debut for one of the club's Gulf Coast League affiliates.
"It was a really cool feeling," Rutschman told MiLB.com. "Just to get that first one out of the way was huge."
Batting fifth and starting at designated hitter, Rutschman grounded out to short in his first at-bat, then homered two at-bats later before finishing the day 1-for-4. The GCL Orioles lost the game, 6-4, to the GCL Pirates in Bradenton, Fla.
But that was hardly the takeaway after footage of Rutschman's third at-bat circulated on Twitter, quickly making its way to Baltimore.
"Congratulations on No. 1," manager Brandon Hyde said. "Hopefully it's one of many ... not in the Gulf Coast League."
Rutschman, 21, won't be there long. The Orioles are targeting for Rutschman's debut with Class A Short-Season Aberdeen, where he'll join fellow top picks Kyle Stowers and Zach Wastson after catching a few games in the Gulf Coast League.
"I was more excited more than anything," Rutschman told Milb.com. "I couldn't keep still, because I knew I was going to play. I was just bouncing all around the room. But I was excited, just excited to get going again. It's been awhile." (J Trezza - MLB.com - July 20, 2019)
A switch-hitting backstop, Rutschman has plus tools nearly across the board. At the plate, he has tremendous plate discipline that allowed him to walk more than he struck out in college and showed up during his pro debut. He drives the ball from both sides of the plate to all fields, with a ton of hard contact. His doubles started turning into home runs in his junior year and there's plus power to come at the highest level. (mlb.com - 2021)
Aug. 16, 2022: Rutschman became the first player in Orioles franchise history to have at least 30 XBH and 30 walks in their first 70 MLB games. The last player to do this? Yordan Álvarez in 2019.
Adley is outstanding defensively at catcher. He has impressive leadership ability and is a pitcher's dream in terms of his advanced framing and above-average pop times on throws to second base from his 70 grade arm.
His defense continued to improve, starting with a very strong foundation, and he threw out 27.8 percent of potential basestealers while showing plus receiving skills and continuing to get very high marks for his rapport with his pitchers. As much as his plus tools stand out, his humility and work ethic get even higher marks, giving him every chance to become the superstar people expect to see. That thud Baltimore is hearing is Rutschman banging on the big league door. (Spring 2022)
“He’s phenomenal,” Bowie teammate Grayson Rodriguez said in 2021. “When we have our postgame reports of all the pitches we made, and you see the pitches and where they’re at, it’s crazy to see how many balls he stole for strikes. The way he calls the game, and stuff like that, it’s elite.”
Adley made strides calling games and built on his strength of developing relationships with pitchers, who raved about working with him. He’s already an advanced receiver and his strong arm helped him cut down 27% of base-stealers. While his skill set is major league ready, coaches and teammates appreciate how tirelessly Rutschman works to improve and shows genuine efforts for helping them do the same. (Baseball America Prospect Handbook - Spring 2022)
Rutschman's already-plus defense also got better in his first full year of pro ball as he acclimated well to working with high-level pitching talent. He knows how to call a game, works very well with pitchers and has soft hands and excellent agility behind the dish. He couples that with a very strong arm, which should help to control the running game and is already exhibiting the kind of leadership teams covet from a big league backstop, something he should be in the very near future. (Spring 2021)
- Rutschman got a ton of votes in a ton of categories during his time in the Double-A East League in 2021, with the Bowie BaySox. His victories included Best Batting Prospect and Best Power Prospect, as well as Best Defensive Catcher, as voted on by managers in the Double-A East League in Baseball America's Best Tools survey in the Sept. 2021 issue.
Rutschman does it all in an elite manner behind the plate. He has excellent receiving skills and blocks balls well. He provides 60 grade defense and a 70 grade arm.
Rutschman has a strong and accurate arm, so he can almost eliminate the other team's running game.
Adley calls a great game. Pitchers love working with him because he knows how to handle them.
Rutschman has a great catcher’s frame, and his athleticism helps him block pitches well.
Rutschman grew up catching, but it wasn’t until he was a high school senior that he truly enjoyed the position. Now he relishes the strategy of catching and has put in the work to refine his game.
He has improved as a blocker and receiver but has also made a jump at the finer points of catching, learning how to make in-game adjustments against opposing hitters and studying swings.
Adley is just as advanced and refined behind the plate as he is at it. Pitchers love throwing to him, he already shows acumen for calling a game and he has excellent hands. He moves extremely well behind the plate and has a strong arm, his fourth plus tool. Rutschman has an incredibly high ceiling and it shouldn't take him all that long to get to Baltimore to fulfill that potential. He's perhaps the best all-around catching prospect since Joe Mauer was the No. 1 pick back in 2001 and has the same All-Star potential. (mlb.com - 2021)
2021 Best Defensive Prospect - Orioles: Adley Rutschman, C (No. 1/MLB No. 2)
The top player on the newly minted Top 10 catchers list, Rutschman came into pro ball as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 Draft with plus catch-and-throw skills. His time with advanced pitchers in alternate camp in 2020 helped him improve even more, with his soft hands, agility and plus arm all looking nearly Major League ready.
Adley has drawn rave reviews from across the Orioles organization for his defensive skills and his ability to work with pitchers.
“I think the biggest thing with pitchers is just knowing the guys and developing that relationship, and knowing how they want to attack guys, what their strengths, weaknesses are,” Rutschman said. “After each inning, it's a new conversation, new things to be addressed. We're just talking a lot, and those conversations help everyone continue to progress.” (Trezza - mlb.com - 8/11/2021)
Feb 22, 2022: Best defensive prospect - C: Adley Rutschman, Orioles (No. 1/MLB No. 1)
Rutschman's all-around offensive brilliance was the major reason why he went No. 1 overall in the 2019 Draft out of Oregon State, but his defense at a premium position also contributed. He's an advanced receiver with plus arm strength, and he also excels in intangible areas such as game-calling and leadership. (Callis - MLB.com - Feb 22, 2022)
2022 Orioles best Defensive Prospect - Adley Rutschman, C (No. 1, MLB No. 1)
The organization’s top prospect will soon be the face of the franchise and for good reason, given his skills on both sides of the ball. His plus arm helps control the running game and his receiving and blocking skills continue to improve, which should earn him plenty of 70 grades for his defense, with Orioles pitchers loving being able to throw to him. (Mayo, Callis, Dykstra - MLB.com - Feb 24, 2022)
- Adley is catcher slow—a 40 grade.
2018: Rutschman experienced right shoulder soreness early in the season at Oregon State.
March 15: 2022: Rutschmann came out of the intra-squad game experiencing soreness in his elbow. When the issue persisted after multiple days of rest, tests determined he had suffered a strained right triceps.
April 4, 2022: Rutschman will not be ready in time for Opening Day, though he has resumed light hitting and throwing activities. It's his first time doing so since being shut down at the outset of big league camp with the right triceps strain. Action is still limited to hitting off a tee and light throwing, but a resumption of baseball activities is his biggest step forward to date.