OUTSIDE THE ARIZONA FALL LEAGUE TOP 20- EDUARADO RODRIGUEZ
I profiled Baltimore Orioles left-handed pitching prospect Eduardo Rodriguez early in the Arizona Fall League season. My scouting comments on MLBPipeline.com indicated I felt Rodriguez has excellent potential to become part of the Orioles rotation in the near future.
My mind has not changed. In fact, I am even more convinced Rodriguez has the “pitchability” to start for Baltimore or any other club looking for a lefty with good pitching mechanics.
A look at Rodriguez’ fall numbers may speak a different story.
His final totals from the fall league included a 0-1 record with an ERA of 5.52 and a WHIP of 1.50.
But Rodriguez really stepped up and was counted when it mattered the most.
Rodriguez started his Surprise team’s 2-0 victory against Mesa in the Arizona Fall League Championship game. He threw three scoreless innings, giving up two hits and not walking a batter. He struck out four.
In those three innings, Rodriguez showed poise and control in the biggest game of the Fall League season. And yes, for those involved in the game, a Championship in that league means a great deal. He came through. Big time. He set a terrific tone for the game.
And he took control.
That’s what I like about the well proportioned, 6-foot-2, 200-pound Rodriguez. He takes charge. He doesn’t get rattled.
Rodriguez has a very smooth and uncomplicated delivery. He takes his time and finishes his pitches. He repeats a very clean, mechanically sound delivery.
He pitches as though he has absorbed quality coaching. He pitches as though he wants to be a pitcher, and not a thrower. There’s a huge, huge difference between a pitcher and a thrower. I happen to gravitate towards pitchers.
In four seasons of Minor League ball in the Orioles organization, Rodriguez has a very fine combined ERA of 3.14. He got touched up a bit in his latest promotion to Double-A Bowie, but he’ll rebound.
Rodriguez, from Venezuela, is only 20-years old. He has time to develop his secondary pitches and refine his repertoire.
His fastball (88-94) has great range of velocity and depth as it reaches the plate. He mixes in a very effective slider at 79-83 mph and can buckle knees with a changeup that sits between 80-84 mph. His pitch selection and sequencing is an advanced quality.
Rodriguez is mature beyond his age. He has the mound presence and demeanor of a pitcher several years older.
I’m not suggesting Rodriguez is ready to step into the Orioles rotation. However, I am suggesting he is a pitcher to watch very carefully as he progresses in his development and fine tunes an already positive approach to getting hitters out. And that’s what pitching is all about.
Getting hitters out.
He didn’t make the consensus Top 20 Arizona Fall League Players list, but Eduardo Rodriguez made a great impression on me.
I invite you to follow me on Twitter @BerniePleskoff and read my work on MLBPipeline.
That’s it. I’m done.