SARASOTA, Fla. (WJZ) — To use a football comparison that Baltimore fans certainly understand: the O’s hope Adley Rutschman does for them what Lamar Jackson has done for the Ravens.
But in baseball, the young stars don’t get to play in the Big Leagues right away, so the waiting game has begun.
At 6’2″ 220 lbs. Rutschman is a sizable figure, both in his presence and in what he represents for the O’s future.
Eight months ago, he was the number one player drafted out of college. He’s immediately become the O’s number one prospect; and the number one question Rutschman faces, when does he see himself playing in the Big Leagues?
“I’m a patient person, but I’m also a competitive person,” Rutschman said. “So those things kind of counteract each other. Sometimes I got to hold the brakes a little bit, and sometimes I press on the gas just a little bit more. I think I have a good understanding of where I’m out now, but my job is to make it as hard on them as possible in order to push me forward.”
Before he gets to the Big Leagues, Rutschman is learning from veterans in Spring Training, and he’s already started learning about Baltimore.
Earlier this month, he joined the O’s Fan Caravan and toured Maryland, meeting fans on multiple stops including an elementary school.
“Just being in that setting is much more authentic,” Rutschman said. “The interactions are pure and I think being able to go out and do that, interact with people in a normal setting outside of the baseball field, made for a good time and a good experience overall for everyone.”
Rutschman, still a kid himself at 22-years-old, is giving some of his time to kids and giving in other ways, too.
With his $8 million signing bonus, he bought new cars for his mom, dad and sister.
Rutschman said his family actually needed new cars, and he wanted to thank them for their support along the way.