Orioles to promote Adleyrutschman

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Orioles to promote Adleyrutschman

The Orioles announced that they have picked the top prospect’s contract Adley traction man. Anthony Bemboom has been determined for assignment in a corresponding move.

Of course, this is a day that baseball fans in Baltimore and elsewhere have been looking forward to for some time. Even before becoming a member of the Orioles organization,rutschman enchanted the baseball world with his performance at Oregon State, skyrocketing draft boards and being considered by many as the best available player in the 2019 draft. Baseball America, for example, gave him first place that year, with their report noting that the switch-hatting catcher had essentially all the skills needed to be successful. Average hitting, hitting for power, walking, strong arm, good receiving and blocking – he had all the tools except speed, which is hardly surprising for a catcher. “He’s the best prospect to catch since Buster Posey 2008 & Matt Wieters in 2007,” her report concluded.

Although there have been reports that the O’s are considering other players with the first overall pick in the 2019 draft, such as Bobby Witt jr, Andrew Vaughn and JJ Bleday, it never seemed like there was much of a chance that someone could hijack Slipman. As the big day finally approached,rutschman was actually the first player off the board.

The big league club’s struggles immediately made Slipman the light at the end of the tunnel for Baltimore fans. The Orioles finished bottom in the AL East in both 2017 and 2018 and were in the process of repeating that feat when Slipman was drafted in 2019. They somehow slipped past the Red Sox and into fourth place in the truncated 2020 season, but were back in the basement in 2021 and also again had the worst record in baseball (along with the Diamondbacks). They have the first overall pick in the draft again this summer. With nothing inspiring happening at the big league level, all hopes were pinned on the stars in the farm system that would form the next big Orioles team, withrutschman at the helm.

Baseball America rankedrutschman as the 5th best prospect in all of baseball in 2021, ranking him #2 last year and #1 this year. He is also ranked as the top prospect by FanGraphs, ESPN’s Kiley McDaniels and The Athletic’s Keith Law seen in baseball.

It was an uncharacteristic promotion through the minors for the 24-year-old. It started off quite normally, with Slipman playing 37 games in the lower tiers of the Orioles system in the months following the draft. But the pandemic wiped out the minor leagues in 2020, meaning he was unable to attend any officially organized game. But that missed season didn’t slow him down as his 2021 proved the hype was real. In 123 games between Double-A and Triple-A, he hit 23 homers and produced a .285/.397/.502 total batting line, walking at a rate of 14.5% and hitting just 16.6% of the time. It all adds up to a wRC+ of 144, or 44% better than the league average.

The Orioles have done little to block his path to the big leagues this offseason. The catchers who got game time behind the plate in 2021 were all kicked out of the squad. Pedro Severin, Austin Wynns and Nick Ciuffo were all complete at the end of the season and Chance Sisco was claimed by the Mets of waivers. There was a time in the off-season when the club actually had no catchers on the 40-man list, although they did eventually sign Robinson Chirinos be in the mix.

With the new contract agreed and the lockout ending in March, there seemed to be a chance thatrutschman could crack the opening-day roster. The new CBA included incentives to try to discourage teams from keeping their best prospects in the minors early in a season to manipulate their tenure and gain an extra year of control over their services. Unfortunately,rutschman suffered a tricep strain in mid-March that put him on the shelf for a couple of weeks and ruined any chance of being ready for the season opener. After recovering from that injury, he made his 2022 debut with the minors on April 26 and has spent the last four weeks getting back into game form. In 19 games this year at three different levels, he’s hit .309/.427/.515, 159 wRC+, walking 13.4% of his plate appearances while gaining in just 8.5% of them.

There are about 137 days left in the season, meaning he won’t be able to accumulate the 172 days needed to count as a full year. There is a stipulation in the new CBA that grants a full year of service to the top two finishers in the Rookie of the Year contest, although it will be difficult forrutschman to take that route now that his competitors in this race have a six-week lead on him. Jeremy Pena has already racked up 1.8 wins over the reserve according to FanGraphs, with various other rookies sitting at .8 such as Bobby Witt Jr. and Julio Rodriguez. Assuming Schiebeman is unable to catch up and finish this season with less than a year of service, the O’s will control his services through the 2028 season, although he has a very good chance of qualifying for the an arbitration to qualify a super two player. (The Super Two cutoff moves from year to year, but has only surpassed 2.137 three times since 2009, most recently in 2012.) Now that he’s hit the big time, the club are hoping he, and the other prospects to come, will help the Orioles transition from rebuilding to competing in the years to come.

Withrutschman injured earlier in the year, the club opted for Bemboom’s contract and paired him with Chirinos as the club’s catcher duo. In 22 games a year he’s hit a meager .115/.207/.212. With his options left, the club had no choice but to nominate him for the assignment to make room for their star prospect. Bemboom will likely hit the waiver wire in the coming days and see if there is another club in the league interested in his services.

Image courtesy of USA Today Sports.

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