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Baltimore Orioles top prospect Adley Rutschman called up for MLB debut

Adley Rutschman, Baltimore Orioles
Staff Photo by Richard Pollitt via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Baltimore Orioles top prospect Adley Rutschman is being called up for his MLB debut, set to take the field in his first game on Saturday against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Rutschman, the No. 1 pick in the 2019 MLB Draft, might have made his MLB debut earlier this season if not for an elbow injury suffered this spring. Baltimore wanted to bring him back slowly, making sure his elbow fully healed before he returned to the field.

Related: MLB mock draft 2022

The 24-year-old catcher returned from the injured on April 26, beginning a rehab assignment in High-A. He then quickly went to Double-A before being pushed to Triple-A in preparation for his call-up.

On Saturday, the Orioles released a video announcing Rutschman was on his way to Oriole Park at Camden Yards to debut.

  • Adley Rutschman 2022 stats: .309/.427/.515, .942 OPS, three home runs, 11 walks

Rutschman is the No. 1 prospect in the Orioles farm system and entered the season as the best prospect in baseball, according to MLB Pipeline. He is widely viewed as a generational talent, the caliber of player who can become an MLB MVP candidate during his peak years.

  • Adley Rutschman stats (2021): 23 home runs, 25 doubles, .285/.397/.502 slash line, .899 OPS

With Rutschman on his way to the majors, fellow Orioles’ top prospect Grayson Rodriguez is also likely closing in on his MLB debut. After years of being one of the worst teams in MLB, Baltimore’s future is suddenly much brighter and it will be an entertaining club the rest of the season.

Adley Rutschman scouting report and 2022 expectations

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Staff Photo by Richard Pollitt via Imagn Content Services, LLC

This could prove to be a monumental day in the Orioles’ franchise history. Adley Rutschman was the unquestioned top player available in the 2019 MLB Draft. Despite its history of signing under-slot players with the top pick to spend more money in later rounds, Baltimore didn’t hesitate to pick Rutschman.

Some evaluators believed Rutschman might have been MLB-ready coming out of Oregon State. However, the Orioles wanted to take their time before promoting the new face of their franchise.

At the plate, Rutschman is an outstanding hitter. On the 20-80 scouting scale, MLB Pipeline graded him with a 60-grade hit tool and 65 power. It allows him to develop into a perennial All-Star hitter with a .280-plus batting average and 30-plus home runs each season.

The hitting tools alone provide Rutschman with a shot to be one of the best catchers in MLB before long. What could earn him AL MVP consideration in a few years is his work behind the plate.

Pitchers have raved about his ability to call games and frame pitches. All-Star pitcher John Means, who has seen Rutschman behind the plate a few times during minor-league rehab assignments, raved about the catcher’s glovework and ability to steal strikes.

While many top prospects struggle in the early months after making their MLB debut, Rutschman’s approach at the plate and high contact rates suggest he could find success quickly. If all goes well, he could even be a candidate to make the 2023 All-Star Game.