Resumes for some of the game's top prospects just got a little more golden.
Rutschman’s inclusion should come as no surprise to anyone who has followed the backstop’s career since the Orioles took him No. 1 overall in 2019. The former Oregon State catcher is considered the game’s top prospect in part because of his defensive work behind the plate, specifically his gamecalling and agility to block pitches. Baltimore pitchers have noted how much they enjoy throwing to Rutschman’s 6-foot-2 target, and it helps his case that he also possesses a plus arm that helped him throw out 27.8 percent of attempted base stealers at Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk this season.
Pratto is coming off a breakout offensive season at the top two levels of the Royals' system, but his glovework at first base has never been in question. The 2017 14th overall pick earned the rare 70 grade for his fielding ability with evaluators noting that his athleticism helps him get to any balls hit or thrown his way at the corner spot. Pratto also possesses a plus arm that baserunners must take note of, and while he is elite for first base, those components are why Kansas City gave him some late-season looks in right field.
Pache and Harris give Atlanta fans two tantalizing options on the grass. Pache’s ability to cover plenty of ground and showcase a plus-plus arm made him Major League-ready on the defensive side, while his bat kept the 22-year-old at Triple-A Gwinnett for much of 2021. Harris earns his best defensive grades for his throwing ability, and the proof came in the form of his 10 outfield assists across 92 defensive starts for High-A Rome.
The full list of 2021 Minor League Gold Glove winners is below:
C Adley Rutschman, BAL No. 1/MLB No. 1, Bowie/Norfolk
1B Nick Pratto, KC No. 3/MLB No. 66, Northwest Arkansas/Omaha
2B Michael Massey, KC No. 28, Quad Cities
SS Jose Tena, CLE No. 12, Lake County
3B Jared Triolo, PIT, Greensboro
OF Michael Harris II, ATL No. 4/MLB No. 89, Rome
OF Brenton Doyle, COL No. 7, Spokane
OF Cristian Pache, ATL No. 1/MLB No. 38, Gwinnett
P Drey Jameson, ARI, No. 17, Hillsboro/Amarillo