Blake Rutherford…..A Brave New World

Could putting up big stats in the Pac 12 put him the cusp of Major League grass sooner? A brave new world awaits……#MLBDraft

Blake Rutherford


History

Experience rich……Remember that 3-run home run in the 9th inning against South Korea that saved the U.S. from elimination?? (video below) After that experience in Japan returning to the free world might seem like T-ball….


Looks:

Collected clues until the pattern became clear….


Defining Moment #1

Blake Rutherford versus Hunter Greene….would he Excel?


Defining Moment #2

The hips don’t lie….I was once told by a sharp-eyed scout


Inside Info

After some tentative early season performances…..I dug a little deeper to see how far the rabbit hole went…..I learned he hasn’t had a hitting instructor the last 4 years.…..the last 4 years has been all himself making all the necessary hitting adjustments……bless his heart,….he is not yet up and running, the best years are still ahead! Did you catch the last month of his season?


Body Type

Has that “Power Hitter, Power Suit” look…..Physically mature, well proportion athletic frame and build……but body may thicken up moving forward, will need to maintain athleticism/flexibility

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Swing reminds me of Dustin Ackley

Strengths

Physically gifted with a foundation of tools and ability to have average Major League tools or better across the board……however the main attraction is the bat……it’s a pretty swing with above-average bat speed that flashes excellent hand path to put a effortless charge into the ball


Weakness

The game has always come naturally easy for him so there’s never been a reason to refine his swing but drifting is a concern and will need to be addressed to reach full potential

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Notice the difference?

Hit Tool

Shows feel to hit with a repeatable swing…..possess the hand-eye skills necessary to tangle with better stuff as his climbs the ladder but will it happen with any consistency?Spurts? Perhaps…..Has tendency to get around the ball and get pull oriented……would not be surprised if teams started employing an infield shift against him in the future…..when locked in will use whole field….I see some Brandon Crawford


Plate Discipline

Sound approach with zone awareness North and South….pitch recognition is there….. Will need to continue to lay off pitches up in the zone….


Power

Raw power versus in game……well run into balls more than selling out for power…addressing the drift will have major impact and allow power to play up


Arm

Average arm that plays up because of accuracy, better when coming in on balls…..


Defense

Efficient routes, will make the necessary plays, throws and not make careless mistakes


Speed

Gait isn’t the smoothest but he’ll cover more ground than quickness suggests on the field and on the basepaths



Intangibles

Make-Up

Don’t let his quiet exterior and barred window fool you, there’s some inner fire

Leadership

Leads by example….. plays hard, manages stress and bounces back from setbacks and rises to the occasion


Risk Factor 

The Risk is Real but so is the Reward.…..I value his athleticism, a quality that would make it easier to fix any flaw……he hasn’t been overly coached up as far as his hitting mechanics…they are underdeveloped to a certain extent and correctable


Red Flag Concern#1

A Level playing field……was he really just a real good high school bat with a college birth certificate?


Red Flag Concern #2

Old habits die hard, how faithful is he to his swing? ……Will he have a stubborn wrinkle to tweaking his swing? What is his aptitude for absorbing instruction?


Future MLB Role:  55 Corner Outfielder

Risk Reward here….Ceiling is a Future superstar with impact offense and ability to dominate in prime years with a well-rounded bat with plus plate discipline and average to plus power….has a flare for the moment…..floor is a steady bat w/ avg power…..could fill the gap at CF but future will be at a corner….has too much natural ability not to be a contributor , if he struggles he can still be of value to a championship team by providing match up advantages


Signability

Minor league life might feel like a demotion hardened by sleepless bus rides and peanut butter and jelly spreads….Separation anxiety could be in play if he doesn’t get his asking price…..Powder blue unis and pennants at UCLA for the next two years??? Putting up big stats in the Pac12 could put him in the cusp of Major League grass sooner


Compensation 

Power Hitter, Power Suit.……did Rutherford and Moniak just do a brotherly, collectively metaphorically Tiger Woods style fist pump on Draft Day?

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                                                                             © Sam Monroy

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