The Baltimore Orioles‘ surprising emergence as a postseason contender has been thanks in large part due to the fact that their young talent has finally broken into the big leagues and is helping turn them into a team to watch down the stretch.
One of the key factors in their rise back into contention has been rookie catcher Adley Rutschman, who was called up to the big leagues earlier this season and has quickly thrown himself into the conversation for the American League Rookie of the Year Award.
As of today, Rutschman has a 4.2 WAR.
According to Orioles beat writer Zach Silver, if Rutschman finishes the season with a WAR of at least 4.0, he’d be the first catcher to do so in his rookie season since Mike Piazza did it back in 1993.
As of this morning, Adley Rutschman has accumulated 4.2 WAR, per B-Ref's model, which leads the Orioles.
Should he finish the year with at least 4.0, which appears a near lock, he'd be the first rookie catcher to do so since Mike Piazza in 1993. Only six have ever done it.
— Zachary Silver (@zachsilver) September 6, 2022
Can Rutschman Match Piazza?
This would be some impressive history to match if Rutschman ends up doing so.
It’s almost a lock that he’ll finish with a WAR of 4.0 or above, as Silver notes, and that would put him in some Hall of Fame company.
In 304 at-bats this season, he’s hitting .257 with 10 home runs and 56 RBI.
His OPS also sits at .813.
It would certainly be cool to see him finish the season with a WAR of 4.0 or more.
Again, it’s looking very likely that he will, and while it may be too early to compare him to somebody of Piazza’s caliber, it would sure be some impressive history, especially for a guy so young and early in his Major League career.
The 24-year-old has been exactly what the Orioles have needed, and he’ll certainly end up drawing some comparisons to Piazza if he finishes with a 4.0 WAR.