ITR farm report: Rutledge soars after tweak in approach
Josh Rutledge was muddling along at high Class A Modesto, not having a bad season at the halfway point but not doing anything particularly notable, either.
It’s not like Rutledge was falling short of expectations held by anyone in the Colorado Rockies player development department. After all, this was Rutledge’s first full professional season and pretty much his first professional experience, period, given his limited action in 2010 at short-season Class A Tri-City.
Rutledge had bypassed low Class A Asheville. So the fact that he was staying afloat at Modesto was of no great concern — except to Rutledge.
“I used the all-star break to kind of think about how the first half went and how it differed from my college career,” said Rutledge, 22, a shortstop who went from Cullman (Ala.) High School to the University of Alabama, a trip of just under two hours. “I went back to the same approach I was using in college.”
Namely, Rutledge concentrated on hitting more up the middle and to the opposite field. He didn’t make any mechanical changes but did alter his approach at the plate.
“The first half of the season, I was trying to get too big on some of my swings and pull the ball when I should have been taking everything up the middle,” Rutledge said. “I started swinging the bat better and just kind of got in a groove the second half.”
Give Rutledge credit for understatement.
He hit .348/.414/.517 for the entire season with 33 doubles, nine homers and 71 RBI.
In the first half, Rutledge had 195 at-bats and hit .262/.351/.318 with seven doubles and 18 RBI.
In the second half, Rutledge hit .411/.461/.664 in 265 at-bats with 26 doubles, all nine of his homers and 53 RBI.
The full story about Josh Rutledge, as well as news about, the Rockies’ affiliate move to Grand Junction, Rob Scahill and Ben Hughes, is available for those who donated to InsideTheRockies.com in 2011.