2019 first overall pick and Baltimore Orioles top prospect Adley Rutschman was promoted to Triple-A on August 9th, 2021 after crushing the competition in Double-A, hitting .271 with 18 homers. Prior to his promotion, I had the chance to catch up with Rutschman to discuss his success this year, as well as allow fans to get to know him better off the field.
Eli Fishman (Prospects1500): You’re playing great, one of the top prospects in Major League Baseball, it’s got to feel good the way everything’s going so far this season.
Adley Rutschman: It’s just been fun to be back with the team again, seeing fans in the stands. It’s all just been a huge blessing and you just have so much more appreciation for it after last year.
EF: Hitting .271 with 18 homers, some of the most in Minor League Baseball, what do you feel is working for you?
AR: I think our organization as a whole preaches going about your work every single day, trusting that the results will come as part of that. I think that’s been my biggest thing so far this year. It’s seemed to work out so far, so just continue to keep it going.
EF: You hit a home run off Luis Severino last night. Do you even think about it when a guy like Severino’s on the mound and when you hit a home run, does that feel any more special?
AR: Absolutely. With a guy who’s had the success that he’s had and the name he has, it’s always special to face a guy like that in the minor leagues. It was cool to face him. I know all the guys on our team where we’re very excited
EF: Talk about your hitting approach. You step in the box, what’s going through your head?
AR: For me, when I step in the box I try to keep it as simple as possible. Depending on what the pitcher is doing, I’ll try and have one or two thoughts going on in my head and just stick to it no matter what happens.
EF: What part of your game do you pride yourself in the most?
AR: I think controlling the controllables has always been a big point of emphasis for me. Just making sure that no matter if I’m going up or down or good or bad that I keep a level head, same attitude, same effort regardless. I think that goes a long way. Our organization as a whole preaches that, and I think it’s been really good for our guys.
EF: You’re one of the top prospects in the game, obviously a lot of eyes on you every night. Do you feel any pressure?
AR: I try not to look at it. I think the pressure I put on myself is always going to be more than what others’ expectations are for me. I just focus on what I can control.
EF: What can Baltimore Orioles fans expect from you?
AR: Giving my best effort, having my best attitude every day and trusting that I’m going to work as hard as I can to be the best person, the best Adley. The results come from that.
EF: What’s been your favorite part about playing in the minors, working up the system, visiting all the cities?
AR: I think it’s awesome. We always talk about being present in the moment, enjoying every single day. There’s definitely times the season can get exhausting and long and you’re kind of just like, gosh, I want to move up, I want to get through this, get to the next step. You forget to enjoy the moment and the times that you spend with each other. I think the guys on the team have really been good about holding each other accountable and reminding everyone every day of just the good times and how fortunate and blessed we are right now to be in the situation we’re in, where we get to play baseball every day and do it for a living. That kinda keeps you going and keeps you happy. Perspective is everything.
EF: How far do you feel from the big league level?
AR: When we have guys who come down and rehab with us, like Richie Martin was with us last week, we’ve got Seth Mejias-Brean with us right now they kinda tell you, you’re closer than you think. At times you feel far away, but having those guys come down and show you the way was a good reminder.
EF: All right. I want to run through some, some fun rapid fire questions with you. What’s been your best baseball memory so far?
AR: Easy answer. College World Series Championship sophomore year of college with Oregon state in 2018.
EF: Favorite player and favorite team growing up?
AR: That’s a tough one. I loved watching Albert Pujols as a youngster, and Ichiro. I was a Mariners guy, Seattle being the closest team to Portland. Buster Posey is another one.
EF: Who’s the hardest pitcher you’ve ever faced?
AR: Another tough one. I remember facing Max Meyer, he’s now with the Marlins, and he carved us up pretty good in college.
EF: How about the best ballpark you’ve ever played in?
AR: The Futures Game a couple weeks ago in Denver. I haven’t been to a lot of big league stadiums, but that was definitely a cool one.
EF: You’re MLB commissioner for a day. You could make any changes to the game. What would you do?
AR: I think baseball’s moving in a direction where social media and everything has such a big say in what goes on. I think the fact that guys now are getting rewarded for playing with heart and with kind of that wow factor has really been good for the game. I love to see guys like Tatis and Baez doing their thing right now and seeing people enjoying it and watching it. I think that’s really good.
EF: What is your walkout song?
AR: My walkout right now is Quicksand by Morray. We’re about halfway into the season so it might be time to change it up here pretty soon.
EF: If you weren’t a baseball player. What would you be doing with your career?
AR: Shoot man, It’s a tough one. Probably playing golf.
EF: What’s your dream car?
AR: I’m a big Audi guy. I think a Lamborghini and an Audi I8.
EF: What is your favorite movie?
AR: Favorite comedy is Wedding Crashers. Favorite movie of all time is The Shawshank Redemption.
EF: How about TV shows, what do you binge watch on the road?
AR: Just finished Outer Banks, finished Ted Lasso. Watching Love Island right now.
EF: What’s the dream vacation?
AR: I’m a big warm weather vacation person. So, Cabo and Hawaii. I haven’t been to some of the more extravagant places like Turks and Caicos. I think The Bahamas would be cool to visit, but mostly Cabo and Hawaii.
EF: Thank you so much for joining me, and best of luck the rest of the way.
Eli Fishman is a Northeast League (Double-A) correspondent at Prospects1500. He is an incoming freshman at Ithaca College, and has three years of experience writing for sites such as Last Word On Baseball, In The Zone Sports, Jersey Sporting News, and his high school’s award winning paper, The Columbian. Additionally, Eli is the play-by-play voice of the Jersey Pilots, a summer collegiate baseball team based in Madison, NJ.
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