Dodgers top prospect Dalton Rushing fails at best effort to bend baseball's rules

Oakland Athletics Spring Training
Oakland Athletics Spring Training / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages
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You've probably seen it in any number of baseball blooper compilations — 1981, Mariners infielder Lenny Randle getting down on the ground to blow a ball traveling down the third base line foul. Kansas City batter Amos Otis was awarded first base after some quibbling between the managers and umpire, and Randle has since said that he was doing some combination of blowing and yelling 'Go foul!' repeatedly at the ball.

Alek Manoah also tried to do it last season on a nice bunt by Jeremy Peña, but he wasn't quite as successful. There's no explicit rule that states a player can't do that, but it never really seems to work out for the defense.

That didn't stop Dodgers No. 2 prospect Dalton Rushing from trying to be the exception to the rule on Tuesday, during a Double-A Tulsa Drillers game against the Twins' affiliate. Jorel Ortega hit a slower roller down the third base line; Rushing chased after it, got on his stomach, and took one mighty blow at it to send the ball over the foul line. Unlike Manoah's attempt, it did actually clear the line, but the batter was still safe at first. A+ for effort for Dalton Rushing, though. That's the stick-to-itiveness we like to see.

Dodgers No. 2 prospect Dalton Rushing attempted to blow a ball foul in Double-A on Wednesday

This week, Rushing fell to No. 2 in the Dodgers pipeline after being supplanted by soon-to-be fully-fledged major leaguer Andy Pages, who's just 30 at bats from getting the 'prospect' label removed, allowing Rushing to reclaim first position.

Rushing was a second-round pick for the Dodgers in 2022 and absolutely crushed the ball in Single-A that year, with a .424 batting average and 1.317 OPS over 28 games. It was no surprise that he was promoted to High-A the next year and debuted at No. 8 in the Dodgers' top 30 prospects list. He cooled off significantly in 89 games with the Great Lakes Loons, but he still had an OBP over .400 and hit 15 home runs.

He's been hitting well in Double-A so far this season, with six extra base hits, four home runs, and 16 RBI over 24 games for a .270 average and .860 OPS after failing to make much of a splash at spring training. But effort's also a big part of the game, and doing everything you can to push a ball out of play definitely takes some effort.

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