Jackson Rutledge, LHP, WAS

Only drafted a year ago, Jackson Rutledge has made a good impression already.

Video courtesy of FanGraphs
  • Born: April 1, 1999 (April fools, Jackson. Bet you never heard that all your life)
  • B/T: Right/Right
  • 6’8″, 250-lbs
  • Drafted by the Washington Nationals in the 2019 MLB June Amateur Draft from San Jacinto College, North Campus (Houston, TX)

The Numbers

His raw numbers are listed above courtesy of baseball-reference.com. Let’s aggregate by year then focus on the important numbers for minor leaguers:

Yes, we only have one year to go on, but it was a good start through three levels, mostly Class A. That’s what you expect of a college arm, of course.

So while he struck out a decent number of batters, he walked a few too many, so he’s still working out his command. The WHIP shows he dominated those lower levels.

Righties had no clue what to do with his pitches.

Lefties had few clues what to do with his pitches.

Two home runs, and there they are above. One to a lefty and one to a righty. Too early to draw any conclusions here. The singles are spread out, and so are the doubles.

Heh, OK, all we see is his decent K-BB% level at A-ball. It’s a good start, if nothing else.

His fastball is plus stuff, sitting mid-90s and it can reach 99, and he keeps that velocity deep into games. He gets riding life at the top of the zone and sink toward the bottom. It’s a great pitch that just needs more command of its movement to be a true weapon.

His next-best pitch is his slider, a mid-80s offering with late bite.

His curve is next, more of a low-80s pitch, that is not yet above-average, but the scouts think it will become so.

He might even get a fourth usable pitch with his changeup.

The Scouts

Warnings

He hasn’t seen Double-A yet.

He walks a few too many batters.

He needs a consistently good third pitch to guarantee starter success.

Conclusion

Mostly we have an incomplete picture of Jackson Rutledge. 2020 would have been the year where he would have seen his first full season of professional ball. Instead he’s on the 60-player pool and competing in intrasquad games.

If it all comes together, he could be a mid-rotation starter who dominates.

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