Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said catcher Adley Rutschman, the team’s top prospect and a non-roster invitee to spring training that begins next week in Sarasota, Florida, will be in for a memorable experience during his first major league camp.
“Everybody remembers their first major league camp,” Hyde said at the final stop of Friday’s Birdland Caravan schedule at the White Marsh Mall Greene Turtle.
“It’s going to be great to have our major league coaches, have [major league field coordinator/catching instructor Tim Cossins] and [major league coach Fredí González] and him be around our catchers that have been through it a little bit, we’re going to get a lot of experience out of that," Hyde said. "It’s going to be a camp he’s never going to forget. No matter what you’ve done, there’s always something different about your first major league camp. We’re all excited to have him in camp. We’re excited for him to get this experience and I’m looking forward to watching him play.”
Rutschman was the Orioles’ selection at No. 1 overall in the 2019 MLB draft and has become the consensus top catching prospect in the game. He was ranked No. 1 in the organization’s rankings by Baseball America and has been among the top five prospects in baseball in every offseason ranking.
Over three levels after he made his professional debut last year, Rutschman hit .254 with a .774 OPS and 13 extra-base hits in 37 games. He could begin 2020 at High-A Frederick and push for a major league job in 2021.
Rutschman said he’s “really excited” to travel to Sarasota on Saturday and begin his first camp. On a simple level, he wants to get enough at-bats to be ready for the season and have an experience to build on. But a trip to Florida for a minicamp last month was a taste of what this season could be like.
“It’s a whole new staff this year, so I think there’s a lot of new stuff that’s going to be coming our way,” Rutschman said. “But went down for a minicamp a couple weeks ago and they introduced us to a lot of new stuff with regards to analytics and whatnot. I think it’s very good and going to be very beneficial.”
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Rutschman, Hyde, Cossins, González, outfielder Cedric Mullins, shortstop Richie Martin, and prospect Gunnar Henderson were part of the first day of the three-day caravan, with stops in York, Pennsylvania, Ellicott City, Upper Marlboro, Annapolis, Fallston, Hargerstown, Westminster, Frederick and White Marsh.