Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Top prospects Adelie Ratschman, DL Hall take next steps towards Orioles with Hi-A Aberdeen

Before pausing into the crowd of members of the media at Leidos Field, Adley Ratschman had to answer an important question from Jack Graham, general manager of the Aberdeen Ironbirds: What did he want his walk-up song to be?

The Orioles’ top prospect, Rutschman, took his time, answering other questions from reporters before turning his attention to him and settling on Kanye West’s “Gorgeous.” It may not play for long at Ripken Stadium, with Rutsman, 24, starting a minor league rehab assignment Tuesday with the Orioles’ High-A ally as he returns from a right tricep strain during major league spring training. works in its own way.

Ratschmann caught on Tuesday and batted in second place among a collection of other top Orioles prospects, with Conor Norby ahead of him and Cesar Prieto, Kobe Mayo and Colton Kauser behind him. He hit a hard lineout to the left in his first at-bat, then pulled a double from left to right before working a six-pitch walk as a right-handed hitter in his final plate appearance, finishing the first five innings. Caught you. Mayo, Baltimore’s 2020 fourth-round pick, and Billy Cook, a 2021 10th-round pick, added home runs.

The competition marked Reutsman’s first time in High-A, leaving the level amid the canceled 2020 minor leagues but returning to Aberdeen. Weeks after he was drafted by the Orioles in 2019, he joined the short-season club of the Orioles for his first taste of affiliated ball. He quickly became familiar with the area, particularly remembering the places he had eaten.

“I think from a mental, physical point of view, a lot of progress has been made,” Rutschmann said. “You always think about what kind of headspace you were in at the time, and I remember coming here and being interviewed in this dugout and didn’t really know what was going on, Was just trying to fit in and make sure I wasn’t stepping on any toes and make sure I’m doing everything right. But I think that’s definitely what we’re doing now There’s a little more confidence in him and that’s how I want to look at my everyday game.”

He acknowledged that patience, however, is a work in progress, at least when it comes to baseball. As Reutsman rehabilitates his injury, he has watched Kansas City’s Bobby Witt Jr., draft a pick after him in 2019, and Detroit’s Spencer A year later Torkelsson, selected first overall, made his debut. If not for his injury, Rutschmann would have already done the same to the players he has known from playing with and against him. He will likely return to Triple-A Norfolk, where he hit .312/.405/.490 in 43 games last year, before the Orioles called him up.

“You’re more excited for them than anything,” Rutschmann said. “I think it’s even more motivation to move forward.”

Also joining Aberdeen from extended spring training is left-arm DL Hall, Baltimore’s No. 3 prospect who is continuing his progress from the stress response in his pitching elbow. Rutschman said that he, Hall and No. 2 prospect Grayson Rodriguez — a right-handed player ranked as baseball’s top pitching prospect who starred with Norfolk — often talk about a future. where they all share a clubhouse in Camden Yards.

“I think it’s not difficult,” Rutschmann said. “It’s one of those things that you really try not to get too excited about or think too much about the future because I think we all try and be as present as possible. want to enjoy what you have now, especially since you’ve been in the little leagues for two, three, no matter how old you are, and if you’re constantly looking at the big leagues and go, ‘oh, i need here To be, ‘So I think you take into account the time you have at the moment, especially to build relationships with people on the team. I think that’s the biggest thing, but of course we’re a Look forward to being able to contribute to the team, try and win and win together.”

Hall echoed that sentiment.

“It’s definitely a thought that goes through our heads, I can’t lie,” Hall said. “It’s very exciting, not only with us, but with all the people that we have coming in and what we have in this farming system, there are just so many talented people. It’s so exciting to know that the Orioles have The future is in good hands, for sure.”

Describing himself as “a few weeks away from really letting loose”, Hall isn’t sure of concrete plans for him in Aberdeen, adding that he will work his way up from there one level at a time. until it is expected to reach large companies. sometime in this season. Meanwhile, he said he has paid for a MiLB TV subscription to keep up with Rodriguez and the Tides.

“Told him he had to start killing more people,” Hall laughed.

Like Rutsman, Hall said it’s hard to be patient, especially as he approaches the five years since he was drafted on the 21st. Overall in 2017. He called joining the Orioles his “ultimate goal” this year, but he understands the organization’s caution with them.

“It’s the kind of thing in baseball that you develop just because you see it happen with a lot of possibilities and things like that,” Hall said. “They never make you run too much. It has been a long journey, but I look forward to this year and be able to really make progress.”

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