Former White Sox prospect Blake Rutherford has agreed to a minor league deal with the Nationals.
According to MILB.com’s transactions log, the outfielder signed his contract with the organization back on January 28. He has since been assigned to the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings, where he will likely begin the 2023 season.
Rutherford, 25, was the key return piece in the 2017 trade deadline that sent Todd Frazier, David Robertson, and Tommy Kahnle to the Bronx. Touted as the Yankees’ third-best prospect at the time, Rutherford worked his way up the rankings to land at No. 37 overall on MLB Pipeline’s list by the season’s end. He followed up all of the hype by putting together his best campaign with High-A Winston-Salem in 2018, hitting .293/.345/.436 with seven home runs and 78 RBI.
Over the past several seasons, however, it’s become increasingly clear that Rutherford likely wouldn’t find the regular success everyone had hoped for early on. In 2022, the 25-year-old trended ever so slightly in the right direction by hitting .271/.311/.428 with 13 home runs, 58 RBI, 93 wRC+, and .739 OPS over 116 games. Despite showing off his durability and trending ever so slightly in the right direction, these numbers were nowhere near his early career stats.
Following the end of the season, the White Sox announced they had cut ties with Rutherford and 21 other minor league players. Despite an underwhelming tenure in the organization, we wish Blake all the best in his new endeavor and hope to see him in the majors soon!
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