Baltimore Orioles catcher Adley Rutschman leads all American League catchers with 460,496 votes in the first update of Major League Baseball’s All-Star fan voting. Four other Orioles made the top 10 in voting for their position groups.

Texas Rangers catcher Jonah Heim trailed Rutschman by about 140,000 votes, while Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez is in third. If Rutschman maintains a spot in the top two by June 22, he’ll advance to the second phase of voting. The winner of that round will start on July 11 in the Midsummer Classic and fans can vote at MLB.com/vote.

First baseman Ryan Mountcastle, second baseman Adam Frazier and shortstop Jorge Mateo each are eighth among their respective position groups in fan voting. Third baseman Ramón Urías was 10th within his position with 67,944 votes. All four players could be selected as reserves, which are determined by the commissioner’s office and player voting.

Rutschman has dominated as a two-way catcher for Baltimore this season with a team-high .390 on-base percentage and an AL-best 46 walks. He sits behind left fielder Austin Hays with a .274 batting average on the year, which is an improvement from the .254 average he finished with in 2022. Defensively, Rutschman is also the best in the MLB, leading all catchers in fielding percentage.

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More recently, Rutschman has showcased his strength when falling behind in the count. Down two strikes, he has the eighth-best batting average in the MLB among players with at least 100 plate appearances.

“There’s just no press to his game,” manager Brandon Hyde said last week. “He’s just super relaxed and he understands the strike zone so well and he has so much confidence in his hands — that’s why you see so many two-strike handsy swings, handsy hits to left field. I just love his approach.”

Rutschman was promoted to the majors on May 21, 2022, three years after he was selected No. 1 overall. He tripled and walked in his MLB debut against Tampa Bay, becoming a crucial part of the Orioles 10-game winning streak in early July with seven hits during that span. Despite his late arrival, Rutschman was voted runner-up for AL Rookie of the Year.

anish.vasudevan@thebaltimorebanner.com

Anish Vasudevan is from Cupertino, California, and is currently the editor-in-chief for The Daily Orange, Syracuse's student-run newspaper. He previously worked as a beat writer for the Chatham Anglers. Anish is interested in telling stories that expand beyond what happens in between the white lines.

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