Orioles star catcher Adley Rutschman fell short of being named a starter for the American League in the MLB All-Star Game when the results of the final round of fan voting were announced Thursday.

Despite leading AL catchers after Phase 1 of All-Star voting, Rutschman finished with 48 percent of the vote in Phase 2 and lost the starting spot to Jonah Heim of the Rangers. The 25-year-old Rutschman can be named a reserve for the AL on Sunday through player voting or commissioner’s selections.

Rutschman, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 MLB draft, has emerged as one of the best young players in baseball in just his second MLB season. A little over a year ago, he was making his MLB debut May 21 as the Orioles were headed toward their sixth consecutive losing season. Fast forward to today, he’s a cornerstone player for Baltimore and the Orioles have the fourth-best record in baseball.

Rutschman’s rookie season in 2022 was one of the best on record for a catcher, and he’s only gotten better. In his second season, the switch hitter leads all qualified American League catchers in hits (75), on-base percentage (.378), walks (52) and times on base (127). He ranks near the leaders in average (second, .268), RBIs (third, 34) and home runs (tied for fourth, 10). On defense, Rutschman is one the best in the sport, leading AL catchers in fielding percentage.

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In addition to making his MLB debut and winning a World Series, appearing in the Midsummer Classic has always been a goal of his.

Making the 2023 game in Seattle would mean a lot for Rutschman on a personal level, too. Born in Oregon, he often traveled north to Seattle for Mariners games as a kid and the city has always held a special place in his heart. Now he’ll wait to see if he gets to check that off his list of goals and play in one of baseball’s biggest games in a city that inspired him.

aron.yohannes@thebaltimorebanner.com

Aron Yohannes joined The Baltimore Banner in June 2023 as a reporter. He previously reported on trending topics in sports for The Oregonian. He began his career covering the Milwaukee Bucks from 2012-2016 for SB Nation before working for the Seattle Seahawks from 2016-2018. Aron is Eritrean and a native of the north side of Milwaukee. 

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