When was the last time the Orioles' future was discussed without bringing up Adley Rutschman? Now, that future is set to take center stage in front of a national audience.
The No. 2 overall prospect in baseball per MLB Pipeline, Rutschman will be one of the high-profile prospects participating in this year’s SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game, as rosters were announced Wednesday on MLB Network. Rutschman and right-hander Marcos Diplán will represent the Orioles in the 22nd installment of the game, set for July 11 at 3 p.m. ET at Coors Field.
“My goal is to be the best player that ever played the game,” Rutschman told MLB.com last week. “That’s the ultimate goal. But more suited to me is: I just want to reach my potential. That’s changed for me, in a sense. When I was younger, it was all about: I want to be the greatest. Now it’s: I just want to be the best Adley Rutschman I can be.”
He appears well on his way. Entering Wednesday, Rutschman was hitting .287/.426/.520 with 11 home runs and more walks (40) than strikeouts (35) over his first 47 games at Double-A Bowie, ranking among the level’s leaders in several major statistical categories. He also led the Orioles' system in hits (49), walks, home runs and on-base percentage.
Rutschman was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 MLB Draft, signing for a then-record $8.1 million bonus.
“The staff here preaches the process, and I am all about committing to the process,” Rutschman said. “So as long as I'm getting better, that's the most important part. I'm just trying to reach my potential. And that's all you can really ask from someone. I feel like I'm getting closer every day.”
Diplán, 24, was originally signed by the Rangers for $1.3 million as part of the 2013-14 international signing class. The Orioles are his fifth organization, as they acquired the right-hander off waivers from the Tigers during the 2019 Winter Meetings.
Diplán is 2-0 with a 2.57 ERA in 11 appearances this season for Triple-A Norfolk, where he is being used in a late-inning role. He's been temporarily inactive of late to participate in the Olympics qualifier, but he will be active for the Futures Game.
Diplán will be the first Orioles pitcher to participate in the Futures Game since former first-round picks DL Hall (the No. 53 overall prospect) and Grayson Rodriguez (No. 19) in 2019. Now, Hall, Rodriguez and Rutschman are all together at Double-A Bowie on one of the most talented rosters in Minor League Baseball.
The Orioles have one more connection to the Futures Game: longtime MLB reliever LaTroy Hawkins, who pitched for Baltimore in 2006, will manage the American League team.