Adley Rutschman “just broke up with Alli Schwarm this shocked us!” the Orioles regretfully reported. Adley Rutchman

Having loved baseball since high school, Adley Rutchsman is a well-known catcher with the Baltimore Orioles. He was the 2019 Pac-12 Conference Player of the Year while playing collegiate baseball for the Oregon State Beavers.

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The Baltimore Orioles picked Rutschman with the first overall pick in the 2019 Major League Baseball draft. He started his professional career with the Gulf Coast League Orioles after agreeing to a $8.1 million contract. In a matter of weeks, he advanced quickly through the levels and was called up to the South Atlantic League’s Class A Delmarva Shorebirds. Rutschman participated for 37 games with the three clubs, averaging a solid.254 at bat and a constant.351 on base percentage.

The once-morbid Baltimore Orioles, who were frequent cellar dwellers in the American League East, have been revitalized by their rise from the ashes of irrelevance. The Orioles’ mindset at the start of spring training can best be described as exuberant, largely because of catcher Adley Rutschman. In addition to Rutschman and a wealth of talent on the major league roster, the Orioles have a multitude of prospects in their farm system that have the potential to completely change Baltimore’s baseball landscape in the next ten years. In light of the recent events surrounding Bobby Witt, Jr. of the Kansas City Royals and his 11-year, $288.7 million contract extension, does Rutschman merit the title of Major League Baseball’s next up-and-coming star who locks down a deal that might fundamentally alter the course of his life and career?

The answer is yes, but patience will be required due to the Orioles’ ownership change to private equity billionaire David Rubenstein and his group of investors for 40% of the franchise at a purchase price of $1.725 billion. While Major League Baseball would love to expedite the sale over a period of several weeks, don’t be surprised if official confirmation doesn’t occur until the middle of the summer. Rubenstein’s tenure as control person of the Orioles should begin at some point during the 2024 season. In the interim, he will have an opportunity to carefully study Rutschman as arbitration eligibility awaits the 26-year-old switch hitter for the first time at season’s end.

Given their disparities in age and position, don’t expect a contract extension for Rutschman that is comparable to Witt, Jr. in terms of length of years or value. Rutschman, a 21-year-old catcher from of Oregon State University, was taken first overall in the 2019 draft, while Witt, Jr., a shortstop from a high school only days away from turning 19 years old, was selected second. As far as deciding what to prioritize in talks with Rutschman, enhancing value as a catcher from age 27 to age 31 must be the top objective.

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