Ht: 6’3″ Wt: 195 lb
Acquired: Received as key player in July 19th, 2017 blockbuster with New York Yankees, in which 3B Todd Frazier, CL David Robertson, and RP Tommy Kahnle headed to New York.
FutureSox Prospect Rankings
- #7 – 2017 Midseason
- #9 – 2018 Preseason
- #11 – 2018 Midseason
- #11 – 2019 Preseason
- #10 – 2019 Midseason
- Trade acquisition write-up
- In-person report with video, April 2018
- All FutureSox articles tagged Blake Rutherford
- Appalachian League #2 prospect in 2016 (Baseball America)
- South Atlantic League All-Star (2017)
- #36 Prospect in MLB, Midseason 2017 (Baseball America)
- #45 Prospect in MLB, Midseason 2017 (MLB Pipeline)
- #18 Prospect in the South Atlantic League, 2017 post-season (Baseball America)
- #99 Prospect in MLB, Pre-season 2018 (MLB Pipeline)
- #91 Prospect in MLB, Midseason 2018 (MLB Pipeline)
- #17 Prospect in the Carolina League, 2018 post-season (Baseball America)
General Manager Rick Hahn threw the baseball world a curveball when he was able to pry OF Blake Rutherford out of the New York Yankees organization in a veteran-laced deadline deal. Rutherford was a consensus Top 100 prospect in baseball at the time and his acquisition came just a year after the White Sox had heavily scouted him ahead of the 2016 amateur draft. Rutherford would end up signing with the Yankees at #18 overall in what is pontificated to have been a pre-arranged deal. The White Sox were able to get their man though. After playing for the U.S. National U18 club, Rutherford was a tooled-up and polished prep bat who garnered interest as early as 1-1 in the draft field. He hit the ground running in pro ball to the tune of a .382/.444/.618 line in a little over 100 PAs at Rookie Ball. His 2017 season in Low-A was a bit of a downer, slashing .260/.326/.348 across both clubs and trending the wrong way late. But young for level as a 20/21-year-old in High-A in 2018 things turned around statistically, hitting .293 with a decent walk rate and going from 2 to 7 home runs.
Power isn’t really Rutherford’s selling point though, but rather a fixture of his game that currently features the most projection. It’s likely the key difference-making tool for him going forward as a sort of outfield “tweener” He can play center field, but analysts and scouts don’t feel confident he can play full time there – though this is an open question. Offensively, Blake’s efficient and clean swing from the left side enables him to barrel his fair share of balls and utilize the entire field. Right now, it’s more conducive to line drives but there’s enough raw power here to tease a 20 home run ceiling. His overall plate approach is fairly advanced for his age. It will be tough to get playing time in center for Rutherford to make his case there, with Luis Robert and Luis Gonzalez in the system at a similar level. Should he move to a corner, he has the arm to profile there but will need to hit for more power. First division regular is still a possibility, with game power and center field play being the key variables to watch.
Major League Outlook: Possible CF but more likely corner OF regular
ETA: Late 2020
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