Blake Rutherford

Outfielder Blake Rutherford, wearing the Winston-Salem alt Rayados threads (Clinton Cole / FutureSox)

Outfielder Blake Rutherford, wearing the Winston-Salem alt Rayados threads (Clinton Cole / FutureSox)

Position: OF
Born: 5/2/1997
Ht:
6'3" Wt: 195 lb
B/T: L/R
Career Stats

Acquired: Received as key player in July 19th, 2017 blockbuster with New York Yankees, in which 3B Todd Frazier, CL David Robertson, and RP Tommy Kahnle headed to New York.

FutureSox Prospect Rankings

  • #7 - 2017 Midseason
  • #9 - 2018 Preseason
  • #11 - 2018 Midseason

FutureSox Media

Accolades

  • Appalachian League #2 prospect in 2016 (Baseball America)
  • South Atlantic League All-Star (2017)
  • #36 Prospect in MLB, Midseason 2017 (Baseball America)
  • #45 Prospect in MLB, Midseason 2017 (MLB Pipeline)
  • #18 Prospect in the South Atlantic League, 2017 post-season (Baseball America)
  • #99 Prospect in MLB, Pre-season 2018 (MLB Pipeline)
  • #91 Prospect in MLB, Midseason 2018 (MLB Pipeline)

Scouting report

General Manager Rick Hahn threw the baseball world a curveball when he was able to pry OF Blake Rutherford out of the New York Yankees organization in a veteran-laced deadline deal. Rutherford was a consensus Top 100 prospect in baseball at the time and his acquisition came just a year after the White Sox had heavily scouted him ahead of the 2016 amateur draft. Rutherford would end up signing with the Yankees at #18 overall in what is pontificated to have been a pre-arranged deal. The White Sox were able to get their man though, as Rutherford continues to carry one of the higher ceilings among the lower minors. After playing for the U.S. National U18 club, Rutherford was a tooled-up and polished prep bat who garnered interest as early as 1-1 in the draft field. He hit the ground running in pro ball to the tune of a .382/.444/.618 line in a little over 100 PAs at Rookie Ball. He hasn't lived up to the same billing in A-ball though, where he slashed .281/.346/.391 in 71 games at Charleston and didn't show a whole lot of over-the-fence pop. Things got no better statistically in Kannapolis. The upshot is that Rutherford is still about two years young for the level and did display gap doubles-power with the RiverDogs.

Power isn't really Rutherford's selling point though, but rather a fixture of his game that currently features the most projection. It's likely the tool that will determine whether Rutherford toes the line of a star rather than an average regular. Where Rutherford thrives is in stability across the board, as he brings stable grades in all five facets of the game. His efficient and clean swing from the left side enables him to barrel his fair share of balls and utilize the entire field. Right now, it's more conducive to line drives but there's enough raw power and muscle projection here to tease a 20-25 home run ceiling. With an already advanced approach, Rutherford could leverage his plate discipline and above average hit tool into a .280 average that would play very well in centerfield with that type of pop. He has the ability to stick in center, although a move to right is possible as he loses footspeed and grows into his frame. Should he move to right, he has the arm to profile there. This is a 20-year-old in A-Ball, so there's a degree of risk involved but Rutherford looks to have the makings of a first division regular if everything clicks.

Major League Outlook: Starting center fielder
ETA: 2020

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