Written By: Patrick Joyce
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Dalton Rushing C/1B | Louisville | 21-Years-Old | Bats: L | Throws: R | 6’1″ | 220 lbs | Draft: 2022
Dalton Rushing is from Brighton, TN, just north of Memphis, an area that has produced some current major league talent like Austin Riley, Drew Pomeranz, Cody Reed, and Jonathan Hernandez. Dalton played both baseball and football during high school, and earned many accolades like All-State honors in both 2016 and 2018, 2019 District Player of the Year, finalist for Tennessee Gatorade Player of the Year, and a .491 AVG, 11 HR, and 46 RBI as a senior. For a number of years, Dalton has shifted time between catcher, first base, and designated hitter to get his name into the lineup card, with Henry Davis being the main man behind the plate. 2021 was the year that Dalton really started to make some noise in the batter’s box, during a stint in the Cape Cod League for the Bourne Braves. Combining the regular season and playoffs Rushing slugged a .319 AVG, 7 HR, 30 RBI, and a 1.026 OPS in 138 at bats. With Henry Davis selected as the first overall pick by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 2021 MLB Draft, Dalton will now have more opportunities to catch, while being the biggest offense threat in the Louisville Cardinals lineup.
Dalton Rushing has a square batting stance, knees bent, and hands loaded directly behind his head. With increased playing time, he has become the biggest offensive threat in the Cardinals lineup, and teams are now able to see the potential of his bat on a more consistent basis. In 2022, he has really taken his hit tools to the next level and is an opportunist at the plate, generating hits that are being given to him, especially against the shift. Rushing has a much more selective approach at the plate and is disciplined at the plate, which has been reflected by his 26 walks in 27 games.
In 2022, Rushing looks focused on being more productive at the plate, by making more consistent contact with the baseball and not striking out, instead of solely focused on launching balls over the fence. He features slight back and forth movement, leg kick, and stride for good timing. Also, quick wrists/bat speed, head still/focused on baseball, and an upper stroke creates some loft in his swing to either launch balls into the gaps, or over the fence to center or the pull side.
Glove: 45| Arm: 50
Dalton Rushing’s defensive skills behind the plate continue to be a work in progress, but he already possesses good arm strength behind the plate. Before game time, he works on blocking pitches, range and agility behind the plate, while improving the timing transfer of ball from glove to throwing hand, which would allow him to show off his arm strength and increase throwing accuracy. With continued repetition, there is a chance for some improvement in his future at the position.
Not the fastest of runners, not seen as a future base stealer, and sometimes can run into outs on the base paths. Although, he hustles right out of the batter’s box and looks to use his lack luster speed to the best of his abilities.
Since the start of 2021, Rushing has continued to improve his hit tool entering this year’s draft. He was one of the best bats in the Cape Cod League and so far through 27 games with Louisville, he is putting the ball in play more and looks more disciplined in the batter’s box. The biggest question surrounding Rushing is can he be an everyday catcher? While the position continues to be a work in progress, Rushing continues to be diligent in his work ethic and could develop into a quality catcher. Combined with the ability to hit in the .252-.263 AVG range, with 12-18 home run capability, low strikeout rates, high on base percentages, teams will find a way to put that type of offensive skill set into the lineup card.