(Future grades on 20-80 scouting scale)
When a player is on the radar for multiple years, there is a danger of prospect fatigue. Rutherford has been a known quantity for a while, playing for USA Baseball's 18U team for two summers in a row, so he has been evaluated more than most high school players.
The left-handed-hitting outfielder from the Southern California high school can do just about everything on a baseball field. Rutherford has the chance to be an above-average hitter with above-average raw power. He'll record average to plus run times, and his speed helps him on the basepaths and in the outfield. Rutherford is a solid defender in the outfield, though most feel he'll move to right field in the future. The good news is his bat should profile just fine if that move does happen.
Rutherford will be 19 when the Draft comes, a year older than most high schoolers, and some evaluators wish they had seen more from him as a result. That shouldn't deter a team in the first round from considering Rutherford's ability to be an everyday player, if not more, at the big league level.
MLB comp: Darin Erstad
Fun fact: Rutherford played for USA Baseball's 18U team for two summers, winning a world championship in Osaka, Japan last year.
He said it: "I want to be a player that's very hard to critique. I want to be a player that you have to sit here and search and search and search and kind of almost make stuff up to critique just because I really hold myself to a really high standard."
They said it: "It will be automatic. I think it will be like Mike Trout, I think it will be like Bryce Harper and [Corey] Seager, some of those guys that came into the league young. I think this is a player that's going to be able to do that."
-- Chaminade College Preparatory baseball coach Frank Mutz on Rutherford's adjustment to the pros.
Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.