Rutherford entered 2016 as the top-rated high school position player for the Draft, then dropped to the Yankees at No. 18 because of concerns about his signability and his age (at 19, he was old for a prepster). He slugged .570 in Rookie ball after signing for $3,282,200, a franchise record for a hitter, but managed just a .395 mark at two Class A levels the next two seasons. The White Sox acquired him in July 2017 as the headliner in a four-player package for Todd Frazier, David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle.
Rutherford still impresses scouts with his smooth left-handed swing, pitch-recognition skills and willingness to use the entire field. He makes repeated contact and club officials believed he could start to hit for more power in 2019 after adding strength in the offseason, though that hasn't happened. He has the size, strength and bat speed to produce 20 homers per season if he can stop hitting so many grounders and drive the ball more consistently.
Compared to the likes of Andre Ethier and David Justice, Rutherford could have at least average tools across the board when he's fully developed. After playing primarily center field in his first two pro seasons, he spent the bulk of his time in right field last year. His average arm isn't a liability but ultimately could land him in left field.
Chicago White Sox selected the contract of RF Blake Rutherford from Birmingham Barons.
RF Blake Rutherford assigned to Glendale Desert Dogs.
RF Blake Rutherford assigned to Birmingham Barons from Winston-Salem Dash.
Chicago White Sox invited non-roster CF Blake Rutherford to spring training.
RF Blake Rutherford assigned to Winston-Salem Dash from Kannapolis Intimidators.
OF Blake Rutherford assigned to Chicago White Sox.
Kannapolis Intimidators activated CF Blake Rutherford from the 7-day disabled list.
Kannapolis Intimidators placed CF Blake Rutherford on the 7-day disabled list retroactive to August 14, 2017.
CF Blake Rutherford assigned to Kannapolis Intimidators.
Chicago White Sox traded 3B Todd Frazier, RHP David Robertson and RHP Tommy Kahnle to New York Yankees for Tyler Clippard, LHP Ian Clarkin, CF Blake Rutherford and CF Tito Polo.
Charleston RiverDogs activated CF Blake Rutherford from the 7-day disabled list.
Charleston RiverDogs placed CF Blake Rutherford on the 7-day disabled list retroactive to June 5, 2017. Foot contusion
CF Blake Rutherford assigned to Charleston RiverDogs from Pulaski Yankees.
CF Blake Rutherford assigned to Pulaski Yankees from GCL Yankees West.