SARASOTA, Fla. — In the first two years of his career, Orioles catcher Adley Rutschman has ascended from No. 1 prospect to All-Star. He’s led the team out of the dark days of 100-loss seasons, his steady presence both behind and at the plate sending the Orioles to the playoffs last year.

But he wants more. And, to take his career to the next level, he spent his offseason homing in on a key component of his game: his diet.

Rutschman has kept his baseball activities roughly the same throughout his career, following a path laid out by his college coaches and now the Orioles staff. His diet, though, hasn’t been as consistent. The 26-year-old always tries to gain an edge and focused his attention on improving what he eats.

At the end of last season, he began working with the Orioles’ dietitian and asked them to lay out a plan for him, one that he could follow throughout the winter while he completed his offseason workouts.

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“I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m not a dietitian,” Rutschman said. “I hear stuff from everyone. It’s nice to just have one voice.”

Rutschman created a simplified schedule. He worked out four days a week and ate the same things at the same time on those days. Each morning started with a bowl of oats and a protein smoothie — his objective was to get 35 to 40 grams of protein in his body right away. After his first session, he went home and had a light snack of three hard-boiled eggs and another protein shake.

Then, after hitting, it was time for the meal he refers to as his breakfast. At 1:30 p.m., he had eggs, hash browns and turkey bacon. This is his favorite meal of the day, he said, and the best thing in his cooking arsenal.

“I love cooking breakfast, even though it’s easy to make,” he said.

His afternoon snack and dinner varied, although air-fried chicken and rice was a staple. At that point in the day, he doesn’t want to be sitting around making an elaborate meal.

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“I’m just into efficiency, I want it to be 30 minutes or less and be done with it,” Rutschman said.

Rutschman said he likes this simplified approach to nutrition and he has adjusted well to the change.

“I just like the consistency,” Rutschman said. “My body felt good most of the time because my body was getting mostly the exact same thing.”

Danielle Allentuck covers the Orioles for The Baltimore Banner. She previously reported on the Rockies for the Denver Gazette and general sports assignments for The New York Times as part of its fellowship program. A Maryland native, Danielle grew up in Montgomery County and graduated from Ithaca College.

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