Rutschman isn't expected to make his major-league debut until late in 2021, Joe Trezza of MLB.com reports. Rutschman was assigned to Double-A, which indicates that he's likely a few months away from making his major-league debut. A top catching prospect, Rutschman is a name for fantasy managers to keep an eye on. The 23-year-old spent all of 2020 at the alternate training site. For now, Chance Sisco and Pedro Severino will handle the Orioles' catching duties.
Rutschman has been invited to the Orioles' big-league camp. Rutschman probably won't receive serious consideration for an Opening Day roster spot, as he's played just 37 career professional games. His debut may not be too far off, however, as he's one of the best catching prospects in years and is already quite advanced. He was reportedly under consideration for a debut last season if the Orioles managed to stick in the playoff race. Exactly when Rutschman might make his debut this year remains unclear.
General manager Mike Elias said Monday that Rutschman could get called up this season but only "if we're heading toward a possible playoff berth," Joe Trezza of MLB.com reports. Anything is possible, especially in a 60-game season, but it certainly seems as though Rutschman's chances of debuting this year are quite low given that the Orioles aren't expected to be anywhere close to competitive. That's hardly a surprise, as even a player of his considerable talent needs more than 37 professional games before making his big-league debut. The young catcher's presence in the team's player pool will give him the best possible development environment this season, but it's highly unlikely to lead to anything more than that.
Rutschman was transferred to the Orioles' alternate training site in Bowie on Tuesday, Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com reports. Rutschman had been working with the 60-man roster at Camden Yards over the past several days, but he'll move to the team's alternate facility ahead of the regular season. The Orioles have been impressed with the top prospect's performance since being added to the 60-man roster July 10. However, the team is unsure whether the 22-year-old will get a chance to play in the majors this season given his lack of experience against upper-level talent. He'll at least get to develop alongside other top prospects within the organization in Bowie to begin the 2020 season.
Rutschman was assigned to minor-league camp by the Orioles on Friday. The 2019 first overall pick spent the first couple weeks of spring training in major-league camp, but there was never a realistic chance of him sticking with the big club. Rutschman progressed quickly through rookie ball and finished his first professional season at Low-A Delmarva, though he struggled with a .594 OPS in 46 plate appearances.