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    2013 Number four prospect: Eduardo Rodriguez

    Written by Lee Tackett and Tony Pente

    Eduardo Rodriguez

     

    #5  - Eduardo Rodriguez - LHP
    Ht Wt  Bats Throws Born Draft
    6-2 200 L L  4/7/93 UDFA Jan '10

    Scouting Grades - Definitions

    Current 4 Most Likely 5 Ceiling 6
    Major League Target Date

    Late-2014

    2013 Stats - Full stats

    TM IP H HR BB SO ERA WHIP BAVG H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
    2Tm 145 131 9 49 125 3.41 1.241 .241 8.1 0.6 3.0 7.8 2.55

    Bio: Rodriguez built upon his positive 2012 and continued his march to Baltimore in 2013 impressing at both Fredrick and Bowie. The 20 year old Venezuelan spent the first half of the year at Fredrick and dazzled, allowing less than a hit an inning and was promoted to Bowie at the beginning of July. After some initial struggles and a Futures Game appearance, Rodriguez allowed one earned run during his final four starts at Bowie spanning 25 innings. Rodriguez went to the Arizona Fall League to continue to stretch out his innings and is considered the organization’s top left-handed prospect.  

    Stuff: Rodriguez pitches primarily off his fastball, which can get up to 94 but typically stays in the 91-93 MPH range. The fastball can dip below that later in outings, but he is able to generate sink and good arm side run when he takes some off. When he is at his best, he pounds the fastball low in the zone to get ground balls, to the tune of a 46 % ground ball rate. He has the velocity to put his fastball past hitters, but he struggles to execute his spots at times and can miss up in the zone. Rodriguez’s slider took a step forward this year and became a plus pitch at times, but it can be inconsistent. He will need to pitch off the slider more as he continues to develop to get more swings and misses. The changeup can be solid at times with some arm side fade, but it's still inconsistent. Consistent command is the number one thing that will determine whether or not Rodriguez realizes his ceiling of a number three pitcher. All three of his pitches can flash plus at times, and the hope is with more experience that consistency will grow.

    Pitchability and Intangibles: For Rodriguez to succeed at the major league level, he will need to commit to either the slider or the change up as an out pitch. The fastball is his bread and butter, but is much more of a contact pitch. He made strides in 2013 using his slider, but still had a fairly pedestrian 7.8 K/9. Rodriguez’s delivery can get out of synch at times and he struggles to self-correct. Given his lower strikeout numbers, he needs to bring down his walk totals, as his K-BB ratio is just 2.55. He is not expected to be a big-time strikeout pitcher, but because he pitches to contact, he needs to limit base runners.

    Conclusion: Rodriguez arguably put together the most impressive pitching season from any Orioles minor leaguer in 2013. He has been stateside for three years and shown improvement in each season. He will be just 21 and should anchor the Bowie rotation in 2014 with the potential to throw over 170 innings without infringing on a limit. Rodriguez has a ceiling of a mid-rotation starter if his consistency improves and he can find a true out pitch. The good news is his stuff took a step forward in 2013 and at just 21-years old next season, there's no reason to think he can't take another step forward. Scouts vary on whether they think he's a future mid-rotation or back of the rotation starter, but few think he won't end up a solid major league starter.


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