We are still incredibly early in the minor league year. Players slump. Some players are slow starters. And in Rutschman's case, he's facing a higher quality of opposing pitching as he ever has after a year of not playing in competitive games against other teams. It's quite the learning curve, particularly when he also has to worry about his defense behind the dish and learning the pitchers.
I have zero expectations to see him in the Majors this year. If he turns the corner and dominates for a couple months on both sides of the ball. I'm fine with bringing him up. If he doesn't, I'm fine with leaving him down in the minors. Let's take a step back for now and just let him make the adjustment and then re-evaluate after he starts showing he can adjust and find consistent success against the competition he's playing against now.
I don’t know what word I would use to describe his start. Like you, I don’t really care about 2020 and I think the whole mono excuse was bs in 2019.
I know I don’t want to hear that cliche bs about him being a C and that he has a lot to learn back there. Plenty of top C prospects have been able to learn how to be a C and hit, so please spare me that.
I think, for me, I am just disappointed at the start of his pro career. It doesn’t mean I’m down on him but as someone who generally preferred Witt (I don’t like the idea of a C with the first overall pick), I was hoping to see him come out and show us why people think he’s one of the best players to come out of college in the last 20 years.
Right now, he looks like a good defensive C who is completely overmatched at the plate. That’s not the look we should be seeing.
It doesn’t help that everyone put Wieters on a pedestal and acted as if he was a god, only to have him come to the majors and be very pedestrian in comparison to expectations. Scouts missed a lot of obvious issues with him and I worry about the same thing with Rutschman. Hopefully he just starts hitting soon and, as you said, we look back on this and laugh.
It's just two starts, but they're rather encouraging. I would leave him there to dominate and build up his pitch count. If he's still flat out dominating after five or so more starts, I bump him to Triple-A. Honestly, though, I don't know if it matters in AAA or AA. As long as he's pitching well and showing improved command, the main thing is for him to be on track for a summer call up to the Birds next year.
I don't see how this is a surprise. He didn't exactly dominate in 2019. He had a hot stretch in Aberdeen.
2020 doesn't mean anything to me. I know the reports out of the alternate site were glowing and people were raving about him but I don't see how facing the same pitchers over and over again is a telling sign of future success. No one can convince me otherwise.
This is essentially the best competition he's ever had to face. I'm not surprised that he's striking out this much...or that he's struggling so far. Hopefully he just needs to get his feet wet a little bit and get a bit more comfortable and we'll be able to laugh about that time we freaked out that AR had a slow start in the minors.