Aderlin Rodriguez Scouting Report (2010)
Entering 2010, I told a number of contacts to keep an eye on Aderlin Rodriguez as a yardstick of whether or not the New York Mets would continue to aggressively push young, Latin American prospects. Selfish me wanted to see what Rodriguez could do in full season baseball at the tender age of 18, but after seeing both Jefry Marte and Wilmer Flores struggle mightily in 2009, the smart move was to start him in short season. In making the correct decision, the Mets watched Rodriguez explode in Kingsport by posting a .312/.352/.556 line earning a promotion to Savannah in a preview of 2011.
Physique & Athleticism: Aderlin Rodriguez is a massive physical presence on a baseball field. His listed height/weight of 6’3″, 210 lbs. may be selling him a bit short as he appeared closer to 6’5″, 230 lbs. However, he’s not particularly well-proportioned as Rodriguez has wide hips and little muscle definition which leaves his body looking a bit soft in uniform. Additionally, he has extremely long limbs which make him look awkward on defense. Make no mistake though. Of players I’ve seen, Aderlin Rodriguez has a frame to project massive size of which I rarely see at the level.
Offense: In game two of the South Atlantic League playoffs featuring two first round picks for the Greenville Drive, Aderlin Rodriguez was the most impressive offensive player on the field. At 18, his pitch recognition is much better than your typical 18-year old and he appeared to have a good idea of how to work counts to his favor. In game action, Rodriguez consistently swung over average breaking pitches which led to an uptick in his strikeout totals post-promotion.
With a quiet lower body, Rodriguez’ bat wiggle could use some calming as it may have an adverse affect on timing during his load. Rodriguez’ slight weight shift and heavy use of hands in his swing indicate untapped power potential on top of what he has already shown. Rodriguez has some length in the back of his swing which is not helped by extremely long arms. However, his wrist snap is excellent and bat speed was amongst the best I’ve seen at the level. When he extends his arms, Rodriguez’ pop is impressive and projects for easy lift and backspin leaving him the best pure power prospect in the New York Mets organization. With some tightening of his swing mechanics, Rodriguez could really explode onto the prospect scene in 2011.
Defense: In half-a-dozen games, Rodriguez did not make an error, but it wasn’t pretty either. Maybe Rodriguez just needed to learn how to break in a baseball glove correctly, but every ground ball he fielded looked “snow coned” and awkward. In game action, he showed the ability to move some laterally and had enough arm strength to man the position. As he continues to fill out, Rodriguez is likely to move across the diamond to first base and will have plenty of work to do to be average at the position.
Speed: Like Jesus Montero in 2008, Rodriguez moves pretty well for a big, teenage prospect. Do not mistake his long strides for speed however as he has no stolen base ability.
In 2011, Rodriguez will be a powerful addition to the Savannah Sand Gnats lineup and is definitely a prospect to watch within the organization. I’m curious to see where he ranks on New York Mets top-10 lists and can see him ranking in the top-6 depending on how much offensive projection is taken into consideration.
When compared to other South Atlantic League prospects, his bat is less refined than the best hitters in the league, but his raw power potential may be even better than Colorado Rockies prospect Nolan Arenado and Philadelphia Phillies prospect Jonathan Singleton. However, Rodriguez has a lower floor leaving him a lesser prospect overall. With Ike Davis serving as both the Mets first baseman of the present and future, David Wright entrenched at third base, and the eventual shift of Wilmer Flores to the hot corner, Rodriguez is completely blocked at the big league level.
Of course things could change in three to four years and Rodriguez’ bat projects well at either corner with continued offensive development. And while I like Wilmer Flores as a prospect who combines elite contact skills with some power projection, Rodriguez is the only prospect in the organization who has the ability to become a true impact bat in the heart of the New York lineup.
24 Jan 2014 / Mike Newman /
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