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Jackson Rutledge

Born: 04/01/1999 (Age: 20)
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Height: 6' 8" Weight: 245
Huge dude, XL frame to go with the height. More athletic than some with this body type (ex. Dellin Betances) but will carry with him slight to moderate mechanical concerns. Kicks leg almost to letters, not the most fluid but he hides the ball well before releasing from a lowish three-quarters slot with a surprisingly short-armed release. All of that helps create deception to pair with his elite stuff, though extension can be somewhat inconsistent. Command isn't great at the moment (will likely never be his calling card) and he'll have bouts with his control as well. Outwardly competitive and can appear volatile at times. Makes adjustments when necessary and got stronger later into outing.
Evaluator Ben Spanier
Report Date 11/12/2019
Affiliate Hagerstown Suns (Low A, Nationals)
Dates Seen 8/28/2019
OFP 60
MLB ETA 2022
Video No
Pitch Type Future Grade Sitting Velocity Peak Velocity Report
Fastball 70 94-96 98 Easy future double-plus, he'll live on the heater and have everything else play off of it. Jumps on hitters due to quick release and gets great life, especially up in the zone. Extremely effective on the inner third against same-sided hitters, sets up the slider beautifully. Enough action get weak contact and swing/miss even when command gets spotty.
Slider 60 85-86 87 At least a future plus and possibly better, the hard slider is his second-best pitch and rivals his fastball for swings and misses. Has short, tight, break. A little more lateral than horizontal but the downward bite is late, sharp, and disappearing. Especially effective in the lower glove-side quadrant.
Curveball 55 77-78 79 Tempting to call this a future plus, was also a consideration to mark it lower than I did. No real command of it at present, but can generally drop it in for an early strike. Mostly landed it in the upper-middle part of the zone when it was unexpected. True 11-5 shape with some good snap, it has potential.
Changeup 40 87-88 89 Didn't see it much, didn't do much when I did. Weakest offering at present.

There's real risk here; he's a big guy who will have to stay on top of his command, which isn't overly advanced at present. The stuff is top-shelf though, and there is an easily apparent reliever fall-back plan if the command and pitch mix don't quite make it. The ceiling is quite high, 2 or 3 starter at least if they do. Low-A is a waltz for dudes with talent like this; Rutledge will look to avoid the pitfalls stalking his profile (see: Alec Hansen) as he hits High-A and beyond.

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