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Adley Rutschman 2021

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7 minutes ago, Moose Milligan said:

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.

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.

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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. 

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29 minutes ago, jamalshw said:

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. 

But there are lots of other guys facing higher quality of pitching than they have ever seen and are doing just fine.

Again, I just feel that all of these are excuses we are searching for to justify that it’s ok he is sucking at the plate.  
 

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31 minutes ago, Sports Guy said:

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.  

My 'optimist' take is that the O's are identifying and working through his issues now, whereas Wieters was able to get through the minors on talent alone and never did address his swing path issues. 

 

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Most discouraging thing is that he is certainly not young for AA ball

CJ Abrams now hitting .345, OPS .976 while playing the most premium defensive position (SS) at AA at the age of 20

That's what a top 10 pick  is supposed to do

If the Padres are going for it this fall he will probably be in the majors at the age of 20

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1 hour ago, LookinUp said:

My 'optimist' take is that the O's are identifying and working through his issues now, whereas Wieters was able to get through the minors on talent alone and never did address his swing path issues. 

 

Or Wieters was the better player, better hitter. 23 yo 1-1 picks should dominate in AA. Perhaps it will kick in, but I never liked the pick and I never liked the swing

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1 hour ago, webbrick2010 said:

Or Wieters was the better player, better hitter. 23 yo 1-1 picks should dominate in AA. Perhaps it will kick in, but I never liked the pick and I never liked the swing

If you're right, a lot of other people are wrong. I hope you're not right, but I don't have the first clue what's up.

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3 hours ago, Sports Guy said:

But there are lots of other guys facing higher quality of pitching than they have ever seen and are doing just fine.

Again, I just feel that all of these are excuses we are searching for to justify that it’s ok he is sucking at the plate.  
 

Maybe. But it's not like he's looked terrible at the plate for a month and a half. It's not like he wasn't going to have a bad week or two. He was going to struggle at some point and was going to have to learn how to adjust. We are talking about six games here in 2021. Yes, 11 Ks in 29 PA are concerning and I would much rather see him hitting well. Still, I really don't care what a week's worth of production says. If we are a few months down the road and still having the same concerns, then I worry.

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5 minutes ago, jamalshw said:

Maybe. But it's not like he's looked terrible at the plate for a month and a half. It's not like he wasn't going to have a bad week or two. He was going to struggle at some point and was going to have to learn how to adjust. We are talking about six games here in 2021. Yes, 11 Ks in 29 PA are concerning and I would much rather see him hitting well. Still, I really don't care what a week's worth of production says. If we are a few months down the road and still having the same concerns, then I worry.

I don't disagree with anything you say here.  All I am saying is lets just stop with the cliches and excuses.  He is just hitting like crap right now. We don't need to dress it up to make it sound better.

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6 hours ago, Moose Milligan said:

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.

Matt Wieters was in AA as a 22-year old. It was the best competition he had ever faced though he did have 280 PAs to dominate Carolina League pitchers. Rutschman is 23-years old and did face alternate site pitching that included Kremer, Akin, Lowther and Baumann and some AAAA guys.

Wieters struck out 29 times in his 250 AA PAs that season.
Rutschman has struck out 38 times in 183 minor league PAs including 11 in 29 AA PAs.

Has the game changed when it comes to strike outs, sure, but Rutschman has slashed just .245/.344/.413/.757 in those 183 PAs. Those are hardly the numbers expected from a 1-1 pick that was thought of as the best hitter in college baseball and a generational talent behind the plate.

Now I'm not saying that Rutschman may just need more time than most thought, but he's nowhere near the major league ready guy we thought when he was drafted in 2019.

I just see a guy with a lot of miss in his bat. While his strikeouts are high, his Whiff rate on pitches in the strike zone has to be extremely high. We're not talking about a guy who chases a lot of bad pitches, we're talking about guy swinging through hittable pitches ion the zone, particularly if they are mid90-s or higher.

Now maybe he just needs to make some adjustments, I don't know, but I can see a very pronounced upper cut swing. Scouting him this year, I can tell that teams are trying to mostly attack him inside early and he's been unable to do any damage in there. I think it's partially his swing path and partially due to him just not seeing the ball well right now. Maybe it's lighting at the minor league parks? 

Honestly, from the games I've watch him last year (a few at Delmarva and a couple at Aberdeen), his spring training this year, and now his first six games, I see a guy who can not hit inside pitches right now and who swings through a lot of hittable pitches, including fastballs.

I'm not a hitting coach, but if I was advanced scouting him, I would be telling my pitchers to pound him inside early then take him up and away with two strikes and low and away with breaking stuff. Now we'll see if Rutschman is able to make these adjustments.

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Thanks Tony for not sugar coating this.    We will see how quickly Rutschman is able to adjust (assuming he’s able to do so).    He’s off to a poor start and there are worrying signs, so let’s not gloss that over, while appreciating that 6 games doesn’t seal his fate by any stretch of the imagination.  

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2 hours ago, Gurgi said:

So the kid cant hit?  That is gonna hurt.  

It's way too early to make any proclamation. He's not off to a good start but it doesn't mean he can't make adjustments and improve. He does have the tools.

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