From the moment he was selected with the first pick of the 2019 Major League Baseball Draft, Adley Reutsman was the face of the Orioles’ rebuild. Starting Saturday, he will finally be the face of their major league roster.
The Orioles will promote catcher Ratshman, 24, and is expected to make his major league debut on Saturday against the Tampa Bay Rays. The top prospect in the organization and, in the eyes of many publications, the game, Rutsman has been the long-awaited at Camden Yards since Baltimore escorted him out of Oregon State.
Based on the Orioles’ franchise-worst 115-loss season in 2018, Mike Elias inherited the first overall pick in the 2019 draft when he became executive vice president and general manager of Baltimore, promising to build an “elite talent pipeline” Which would allow the Orioles to be a perennial playoff contender. In what he described as the most important decision of his first year at the helm of the front office, Elias became the centerpiece of the organization’s rebuilding efforts by electing Texas high school shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. and University of California first baseman Andrew Vaughan.
Rutschmann has maintained that position as Elias built a form system that is now one of the best in baseball.
Both Witt and Vaughan had reached the majors before Ratschmann, but he probably would have been there already, if not for a series of poorly-timed failures. The minor league portion of the 2020 season, expected to be his first full campaign as a professional, was lost to the coronavirus pandemic, although Reutsman concluded at the Orioles’ alternate training venue in Bowie. He then starred in the upper minors in 2021, batting .285/.397/.502 and scoring 23 home runs between Double-A and Triple-A to position himself to join the Orioles in 2022.
He may have done so as a member of his season-opening roster, if not for the right tricep strain during major league spring training, delaying the start of his season by nearly a month. At three levels of the Orioles farm system in 2022, Rutschmann hit .304/.427/.515.
After a quiet first full week with Triple-A Norfolk, in which he went 3-for-2-1—though one of those hits was his first home run—Reutschmann homed twice. And caught in each of the Tides’ first three matches this week, showing off his physical preparation for major league level recovering from injury. Even when he could play practically every game in 2021, Reutsman regularly starts at first base and is the designated hitter with his work behind the plate, preparing Joe Orioles manager Brandon Hyde should be allowed to keep Reutsman’s switch-hitting bat in the lineup. He doesn’t catch
Regardless of where he plays, Ratschman will be in the Orioles’ lineup, the most important step in the team’s rebuilding years to date. Reutsman will be second among Baltimore’s top 10 prospects for debut in 2022, joining right-hander Kyle Bradish, whom he could catch in the majors as early as Saturday. Within his final four matches with Norfolk, Rutschmann also caught Grayson Rodriguez and DL Hall, a pair of pitchers who preceded him as first-round picks and directly followed him in the potential rankings. They may also show up at Camden Yards sometime this season amid a wave of talent.
Ratshman’s selection marked the most important step in the early stages of Baltimore’s reconstruction. His arrival is a sure sign of a possible turn towards contention, although he will join the Orioles team that is 16–24 and last in the American League East.
In Baltimore’s lineup, Reutsman will bat alongside others who have established themselves as potential future pieces of the franchise, such as outfielders Cedric Mullins and Austin Hays and first baseman Ryan Mountcastle, who was injured with a wrist injury. are on the list, but are expected to return later this week. It is only a matter of time before that group plays together, realizing the Orioles’ bright future is closest to that of Ratsman since he was drafted.
This article will be updated.