Norfolk Tides catcher Rutschman earns MiLB Rawlings Gold Glove Award

Orioles Preview Baseball
Posted at 2:10 PM, Nov 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-14 14:11:09-05

Minor League Baseball and Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc., today announced the nine recipients of the 2021 Rawlings Gold Glove Award® for defensive excellence. Adley Rutschman won the award at the catcher position, making him the second player to win the award in Norfolk Tides history. Since the Tides joined Baltimore’s farm system in 2007, three players have won a Minor League Rawlings Gold Glove Award® within the organization. The only other Tide to do so was pitcher Jordan Kipper in 2017. Third baseman Jason Esposito also won the award in 2014 after playing a full season with High-A Frederick. The announcement was made during tonight’s MLB Network broadcast of the 2021 Defensive Awards.

Rutschman, 23, played 82 games at catcher between Double-A Bowie and Norfolk. He totaled a .994 fielding percentage in those games, making just five errors in 887 chances. He also caught 27.8% of attempted base stealers (20-for-72), while recording only four passed balls. He was one of six catchers in all of Minor League Baseball to catch at least 80 games.

In 29 games caught with the Tides, Rutschman did not commit an error in 273 chances and allowed one passed ball. He caught Triple-A attempted base stealers at a 26.9% rate (7-for-26). He’s the second catcher to achieve a perfect fielding percentage with at least 29 starts in Norfolk’s history as an Orioles affiliate (since 2007), joining Chad Moeller (2009, 34 starts). In the 29 games with Rutschman behind the plate, Norfolk went 14-15 with a 4.10 ERA (115 ER, 252.0 IP), a 1.24 WHIP and a .247 opponents’ batting average. He caught three shutouts with the Tides, including a one-hit shutout in his Triple-A debut on August 10 vs. Memphis. Without Rutschman catching, the Tides went 38-63 with a 4.97 ERA (469 ER, 850.0 IP), a 1.47 WHIP and a .264 opponents’ batting average.

The Rawlings Gold Glove Award® adds another accolade to Rutschman’s 2021 season. He was selected to play for the American League during the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game on July 11 at Coors Field in Denver, Colorado. Two weeks later, Rutschman won the Double-A Northeast Player of the Week from July 19 to 25 after hitting .409 (9-for-22) with seven runs, three doubles, three home runs, 11 RBI and seven walks (.552 OBP) in six games. Rutschman then earned Orioles Minor League Player of the Month honors in August after batting .337/.408/.511 (31-for-92) with a .919 OPS, seven doubles, three home runs, 16 runs scored, 11 RBI, and nine walks in 24 games between Bowie and Norfolk. After the regular season concluded for the Tides, Rutschman was named a co-winner of the Brooks Robinson Minor League Player of the Year Award alongside teammate Kyle Stowers. In late October, Rutschman was named an Organizational All-Star at catcher for Baltimore, the second time in his career.

It is the first time in his professional career that Rutschman has won an award for his defense. Among many other accolades he earned in college at Oregon State University, Rutschman was given the American Baseball Coaches Association and Rawlings Gold Glove Award at catcher for the NCAA Division I level. He was also named co-Pacific-12 Conference Defensive Player of the Year in 2019. He shared that award with University of Stanford’s catcher Maverick Handley, who also plays in Baltimore’s farm system.