Huge physical presence. Tall, giant frame and already well built and physically developed.
3/19 4/5, 4/9, 4/24/14
St. Lucie Mets (High A, Mets)
30, Organizational player
Has plus bat speed, which gives him a chance, but has absolutely no pitch recognition. Does not recognize spin and makes up his mind to swing before the pitch is released. Will annihilate a fastball but will not hit a well-placed pitch of any other variety.
Big time power. Comes from both impressive size and strength as well as plus bat speed. Ball carries well and he generates good backspin. Hits towering shots that leave little doubt. True top-of-the-charts raw power, but does not carry over fully to games because of pitch recognition issues.
Slow, does not run well at all. Takes forever to get to what little top speed he has.
Poor defender at third base. Limited lateral range and does not come in on balls well. Hands are not soft. Would be best suited for first base, but would still be below average there.
Tremendous arm strength and a quick release for a large player with long arms. More than enough for third base.
Usually a player with two 80 grade tools is a top prospect and a star waiting to happen, but when the pitch recognition and hit tool are this poor, it can derail the entire package. Rodriguez simply doesn't recognize off-speed pitches, leaving him susceptible to high strike out totals that limit how much his power plays in games. He punishes fastballs with regularity, to the point where I wonder why any pitcher even throws him one in the strike zone. He will likely never be a major leaguer, however, and certainly will never be a third baseman, where his defense is a liability. Rodriguez's arm is fantastic but he's destined for a position where it provides limited value.
Rodriguez has two top-of-the-charts tools, but neither will play in games because of the flaws that surround the rest of his game. He's already struggling in the Florida State League and has yet to see pitchers in Double-A with an advanced plan and more refined breaking pitches. He would have to make significant improvements in his hitting ability to reach the major leagues.