Blake Rutherford is having a phenomenal start as a Chicago White Sox prospect in 2021.
Once upon a time in 2017, Tommy Kahnle was the best reliever in baseball on the White Sox. The trade deadline was approaching and teams wanted him. Then on July 18, 2017, the White Sox sent Kahnle along with Todd Frazier and David Robertson to the Yankees for Blake Rutherford, a lefty named Ian Clarkin, outfield prospect Tito Polo and veteran reliever Tyler Clippard.
Clarkin is a Rockie and Polo is a Mariner. It is up to Rutherford to come through for the Sox to win the trade. Since being drafted 18th overall by the Yankees in 2016, Rutherford has slowly climbed up the minor league ladder. He started at Kannapolis after the trade. In 2018, he was promoted to Winston-Salem. He earned another promotion in ’19 to Double-A Birmingham but had his path to the show disrupted in 2020. Covid-19 shortened the MLB season but canceled the MiLB season.
A year off does not seem to have hurt Rutherford, considering he is tearing it up at Triple-A Charlotte. There is only one more promotion left and at this pace, he will earn it pretty soon.
So far, in 10 games as a Charlotte Knight, Rutherford has a .297/.381/.514 slash with an OPS of .894. In 42 plate appearances, he has 11 hits, three doubles, a triple, a home run, and eight RBIs. He is currently on a five-game hit streak and is not showing any signs of slowing down. Considering the two most significant blows to this team have been to in the outfield, it is excellent timing that he is breaking out now. Another week or two in the minors performing at this level, Rutherford could be wearing the black pinstripes very soon.