When the brightest stars in the minors take the field for the MLB All-Star Futures Game on July 11 in Denver, the Orioles will be represented by their best.
Catcher Adley Rutschman, one of the top prospects in all of baseball and the Orioles’ consensus No. 1, will compete in the all-star event for the game’s top young stars along with Triple-A Norfolk reliever Marcos Diplán.
Rutschman, currently at Double-A Bowie in his first full minor league season after the Orioles took him first overall in the 2019 draft, will be one of the biggest names in a game that is set to feature some potential elite talent, especially on the hitting side.
Rutschman is batting .287 with 11 home runs and a .946 OPS this season thanks to impressive plate discipline and an ability to drive the ball.
Diplán, who is currently on the temporary inactive list with Triple-A Norfolk, hasn’t pitched since June 19 but has a 2.57 ERA with a 1.43 WHIP and 17 strikeouts in 14 innings over 11 appearances.
The 24-year-old right-hander was a top-10 prospect for the Milwaukee Brewers entering the 2017 season, but struggled to break through Double-A and bounced around a few clubs on waivers in 2019 before the Orioles claimed him from the Detroit Tigers during the winter meetings.
He was outrighted off the roster that December and was with the Orioles in spring training the past two seasons.
With uncertainty over how young pitchers are responding to increased workloads after a lost minor league season in 2020, many clubs seem to be holding their top pitching prospects back from the Futures Game to control their innings and usage as injuries mount in the minors.
Top pitching prospects Grayson Rodriguez and DL Hall represented the Orioles in the most recent Futures Game in 2019. Other recent Orioles participants include right-hander Hunter Harvey (2013), catcher Chance Sisco (2016 and 2017), left-hander Tanner Scott (2017), outfielder Ryan Mountcastle (2018) and left-hander Alexander Wells (2018).
The Futures Game won’t be the only important part of the All-Star weekend for the Orioles, with the 2021 MLB draft moved back a month to coincide with the festivities in Denver. The Orioles pick fifth overall July 11, and later in the week, they’ll be represented by Trey Mancini in the Home Run Derby.
If current form is any indicator, Cedric Mullins is a near-lock to be their representative in the July 13 All-Star Game.
MLB All-Star Weekend
Coors Field, Denver
All-Star Futures Game: July 11, 3 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB draft: July 11, 7 p.m. (ESPN, MLB Network)
Home Run Derby: July 12, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
Latest Baltimore Orioles
MLB All-Star Game: July 13, 7:30 p.m. (Chs. 45, 5)