Long, lean frame with developing muscle mass; live body; greyhound build; long legs; plenty of wiry strength in frame.
Pensacola Blue Wahoos (AA, Reds)
Plays the game with confidence/swagger; can be hard on himself after making mistakes.
45; 4th OF/bench bat
Mechanics: Begins slightly open with hands just off ear; loads hands by dropping them to his shoulder with a slight hand pump; load can get deep on occasion and create a slight bit of length in combination with his long arms; otherwise, player's stroke is fairly compact; bat speed is plus with fast hands; displays some coil in his hips; will occasionally fire hips too soon and open up holes on the outer half; loads to toe and plants heel to fire lower half; displays decent extension when mechanics are aligned properly; pulls head off with regularity.
Approach: Susceptible to fastballs above hands; likes to the expand zone up top; will chase breaking balls away from RHP, but player showed in-game adjustments to adapt to this; pitch recognition skills will need to continue developing in this manner in order to actualize hit tool; player can get pull-happy with his mechanics but showed the ability to shoot the ball from gap to gap in this look.
65-grade raw power; capable of tape-measure shots in BP with a flick of the wrists; showed off raw in game action by sending a hanging curveball over the batter's eye in CF on a line for a long grand slam; achieves power via a lightning quick bat with some loft and generates torque with a smooth, powerful rotation of his hips; power is not derived from pure strength and is rather generated from his quick-twitch actions at the plate; player struggles to generate front-side leverage with regularity, which will limit his in-game power output; should be an above-average power threat in combination with his fringe-average hit tool.
Displays long, athletic strides; above-average runner once underway; home-to-first times in the mid 4.2s; takes a few steps to get to his top speed; weapon from first-to-third/second-to-home.
Reads/routes in center field were shaky; displayed good range but natural instincts for the position were lacking; shows good closing speed; athleticism should allow player to be an asset in right field.
Plus-plus weapon; quick release; insane on-line carry; throws seem to skip when they hit the ground; shows confidence in the arm and dares runners to test him; will be a highlight-reel tool at the highest level.
While Rodriguez still carries some boom/bust potential, there were enough signs of maturing skills in this four-game look for me to state, with confidence, that he has a realistic shot of being a big leaguer. The raw tools remain enormous, but this has never been an issue. The particular nuances of hitting have always been his struggle, but refinements in this area were evident in this four-game sample. He showed some aptitude for adjustment at the plate, particularly with arm-side breaking balls out of the zone, and flashed some ability to work deep into counts. While not a center fielder in the long-term, Rodriguez should be an above-average defender in right field with an absolute cannon for an arm.
The upside here is a ~.250 hitter with 20 home runs who can also rack up plenty of doubles and steal 20 bags with his above-average wheels. That's an above-average regular in right field who can impact the game in a lot of different aspects. The downside is that the adjustments noted in this most recent look fail to carry over and the hit tool never develops to its potential, and in this case, Rodriguez is more of a fourth/fifth outfielder who flashes tools but fails to consistently put them to use. Still only 21 years old, I'm willing to bet on the tools and hope the recent adjustments are signs of further skills maturation.