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August 27, 2013

Minor League Update

Games of Monday, August 26

by Zach Mortimer

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The Update for last night will be a bit different than the typical article. I attended the Binghamton at Bowie game (Double-A Eastern League), and I heard of an excellent story. I felt like it was necessary to dedicate the article to those very specific points.

"The Good"

Eduardo Rodriguez, LHP, Orioles (Double-A Bowie): 8.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K.
Rodriguez boasts plus command of a fastball that works 91-94 and can sprinkle in some 95s. The changeup works 82-84 with some armside fade. The change has proven to be the more consistent of his two secondary offerings. The slider sits 81-84 with some tilt, but he loses feel and will throw it too firmly or not firmly enough at times. The secondary offerings are going to be okay, but not great. Overall, Rodriguez profiles as a back-of-the-rotation starter and will be in the conversation for the top 100 prospects.

"The Bad"

Noah Syndergaard, RHP, Mets (Double-A Binghamton): 3.0 IP, 9 H, 9 ER, 3 HR allowed, 2 BB, 5 K.
I’ll start with the stuff. The fastball worked 94-98 with extreme plane, the curveball came in at 74-79 with two-plane break, and the changeup registered 87-89 with fade. Syndergaard got beat up because he left his fastball over the heart of the plate and elevated the changeup. All of that being said, I still believe that Syndergaard is going to be a top-of-the-rotation arm. Syndergaard has an ideal frame, and his arm works well. The stuff rivals that of any pitcher in the minor leagues. The Blue Jays will not be happy they gave up a pitcher of Syndergaard's caliber.

"The Show"

Cody Clark, C, Astros (MLB Houston).
I focus this article on the major prospects in the minor leagues. However, the goal for every single player in the minor leagues is to eventually get the call to the big leagues. Obviously, not every player is able to put on a major-league uniform, but everyone is always working toward this end. Clark is a player who bounced around the minor leagues looking for a shot, even spending time in independent baseball, consistently working on his game to hopefully one day get the opportunity to get to have that talk with his coach telling him it is his time and he is going to The Show. Clark is a special case, because all of the sources I spoke with could not stop talking about his work ethic. Clark even went to the Australian Winter League at the age of 30 just to get at-bats. The feeling Clark will get by putting on the jersey and being in the clubhouse, and the experience he will get playing the game that he has loved since childhood at the highest level makes everything worthwhile. In just about every one of the Updates I write about guys who are essentially no-doubt major leaguers, and that is fine. But on this night, I would like to honor Cody Clark. This one’s for you Cody—you are living the dream. Soak it up, and know that the work you put in is respected.

Zach Mortimer is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Zach's other articles. You can contact Zach by clicking here

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