Givanni Damico | May 21st, 2019
Jackson Rutledge, SP (San Jacinto Junior College)
Weight: 240 LBs
2019 Stats (as of May 19, 2019): 9-2, 0.87 ERA, 14.67 K/9, 3.28 BB/9, 4.6 H/9, 4 CG
Fastball: 70 Slider: 65 Curveball: 55 Changeup: 45 Control: 45 Overall: 55
Jackson Rutledge was born on April 1, 1999, to John and Susan Rutledge. Rutledge attended Rockwood Summit High School in St. Louis, Missouri. As a senior in high school, Rutledge went 7-1 with a 1.19 ERA, striking out 84 batters in 41 innings. As a freshman in college, Rutledge attended Arkansas University where he would only pitch 15.1 innings during his freshman season. He was left off of the postseason roster which prompted him to transfer to San Jacinto JC. At San Jacinto as a sophomore this season, Rutledge is carving it up. He has thrown four complete games and is striking out over 14 batters per nine innings. His control hasn’t been bad either, walking about three batters per nine. I’m sure Arkansas is missing him right now. It looks like the transfer was the right decision for Rutledge as he is now viewed as a first-round prospect for the 2019 MLB Draft.
Rutledge has a premium velocity with his fastball topping out at 99 miles per hour. It averages between 94-97 with inconsistent movement. The fastball is hard to touch at the top of the strike zone and has nice sinker movement at the bottom of the zone. His slider is his second-best pitch and it is his strikeout pitch. It tops out around 88 miles per hour and averages about 86 miles per hour. He throws a solid low 80s 12-6 curveball as well. Rutledge is attempting to develop a changeup too, but the changeup is below average and needs work. Because of his huge frame, Rutledge makes different angles with his pitches so it’s harder to hit off of him.
Rutledge has questionable command especially with his fastball at times. His fastball is a fantastic pitch, in fact, it may be the best fastball in the draft, but it would be even more effective if he had better control to pinpoint its location. His changeup tends to be flat so this pitch needs more development.
There is little doubt in my mind that Jackson Rutledge will be elite at the next level. I love watching this guy pitch and he is nearly unhittable at the college level. His fastball is hard to read and he will blow it right by you. His slider is very deceptive and looks to be a strike until it tails off and makes the hitter look bad. The curveball and changeup are still in development, but if he can refine these two pitches, as well as control his fastball better, this guy could be a superstar.
Draft Prediction: Round 1, Pick 11 to the Toronto Blue Jays
The Blue Jays have a lot of hitters in their system who are the future of the team, but they are lacking elite pitching prospects. Most of their pitching prospects are either lower-tier or are already between 23 and 25 and ready to get the call-up. They need to have elite pitching to back up their offense and Jackson Rutledge provides just that. It would be interesting to see him standing next to Marcus Stroman as well. I view Rutledge as someone who will only take one or two years to make it to the big leagues so this would be an incredible value for the future of the Toronto Blue Jays.
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Main Image Credit: https://www.sanjacsports.com/san-jacinto-college/jackson-rutledge