One analyst compares Orioles' Adley Rutschman to Mark Teixeira at the plate

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Ryan Wormeli
·3 min read
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One analyst compares Adley Rutschman to Mark Teixeira originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Baseball scouts just can't help themselves from heaping enormous amounts of praise on Adley Rutschman, the top prospect in the Orioles' organization and one of the best prospects in all of minor league baseball.

MLB Pipeline, which recently chose Rutschman as the second-best prospect in the league, has been one of several outlets to place high expectations on the young catcher since well before he was drafted with the top overall pick in the 2019 MLB Draft.

After releasing its Top 100 prospect rankings, MLB Pipeline did a Twitter Q&A about the choices, and a few questions popped up about the best catching prospect in years. The answers didn't do anything to keep hopes in Baltimore from getting too high when it comes to the future face of the franchise.

"Yes, easily," Jim Callis of MLB Pipeline answered when asked if Rutschman had a future as a franchise player. "My favorite pre-Draft comp on Adley Rutschman was that he's Mark Teixeira's bat combined with a Gold Glove catcher."

Mark Teixeira's bat in the body of a Gold Glove catcher? Sign us all the way up, please and thank you.

Teixeira, a local native who played high school baseball at Mount St. Joseph's in Baltimore, was one of the best hitters in baseball during his career from 2003-2016. He accrued more than 50 Wins Above Replacement, according to Baseball Reference, most of which came from his bat. He hit over 400 career home runs, drove in nearly 1,300 runs and batted .268. He had a wRC+ above 120 (100 is league average) in 10 of his 14 seasons.

In other words, he was an elite batting talent. And Callis expects a similar offensive impact from Rutschman, also a switch-hitter. The only difference being that Rutschman might combine it with Gold Glove production at the catcher position -- arguably the hardest to fill on a diamond and the most impactful over the course of a game.

Another player who serves as a good comparison point is one O's fans are all too familiar with: Matt Wieters. The Orioles' All-Star catcher never lived up to the out of control hype he had as baseball's top prospect, but he was still an excellent player and key piece of the contending O's teams last decade. And Callis thinks Rutschman is better.

"Rutschman should outperform Wieters," Callis tweeted. "Better bat, better receiver, similar arm & pop at same stage."

Rutschman was named baseball's best catching prospect thanks to some of the best power in the minors paired with a glove that nearly made MLB Pipeline's All-Defense team. He is an all-around prospect with essentially zero holes, outside of a lack of experience as a result of the pandemic.

Teixeira is a fun comparison to hear, because fans know how good he was for more than a decade. But the truth is, if Rutschman lives up to his billing as a generational prospect, then almost no catchers in MLB history will be fitting comparisons, outside of a few Hall of Famers.

Most prospects never reach their ceilings, but for now, it's impossible not to speculate on what could be when it comes to Rutschman, especially if national experts keep praising him at every opportunity.