Adley Rutschman will now spend the rest of his first Spring Training on the backfields.The Orioles reassigned MLB.com's No. 4 overall prospect to Minor League camp on Friday. Baltimore also optioned No. 9 prospect Dean Kremer and No. 16 Ryan McKenna to Triple-A Norfolk and reassigned pitchers Cristian Alvarado, Marcos
Adley Rutschman will now spend the rest of his first Spring Training on the backfields.
The Orioles reassigned MLB.com's No. 4 overall prospect to Minor League camp on Friday. Baltimore also optioned No. 9 prospect Dean Kremer and No. 16 Ryan McKenna to Triple-A Norfolk and reassigned pitchers Cristian Alvarado, Marcos Diplan, Hunter Cervenka and Brady Rodgers and catcher Martin Cervenka to Minor League camp.
Rutschman appeared in seven Grapefruit League games for the Orioles, going 1-for-9 with a walk and five strikeouts. His lone hit came Thursday in Sarasota against the Twins when he singled off right-handed reliever Ryan Garton.
The switch-hitting catcher will be one of the most closely followed prospects in baseball this season after being selected with the first overall pick, out of Oregon State, in last year's Draft. He signed for a record $8.1 million bonus and moved quickly through the O's system, seeing time in the Gulf Coast League and with Class A Short Season Aberdeen and Class A Delmarva. Rutschman finished with a .254/.351/.423 line, four homers and 20 walks over 37 games in his first taste of the Minors. He also caught seven of 11 attempted basestealers.
The 22-year-old backstop has four potentially plus skills in his profile with his hit, power, arm and fielding tools. From the moment he signed, he instantly became the Orioles' top prospect and should be a big piece of the Baltimore youth movement. In January, Orioles general manager Mike Elias said that he expected Rutschman to open 2020 at Class A Advanced Frederick, per the Salisbury Daily Times, though that could change based on how things go this spring.
Though they were also cut Friday, Kremer and McKenna are both candidates to see Major League action this season. Kremer put up a 3.72 ERA with 122 strikeouts in 113 2/3 innings across three levels in 2019. McKenna hit .232/.321/.365 with nine homers and 25 stolen bases for Double-A Bowie while showing off plus speed and good defensive skills in the outfield.
Sam Dykstra is a reporter for MiLB.com. Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @SamDykstraMiLB.