Early in the Arizona Fall League a pitcher that quickly caught my attention was Eduardo Rodriguez of the Baltimore Orioles. The lanky 6-foot-2 200-pound left-hander who is ranked No. 2 among the Orioles' Top 20 Prospects by MLB.com was signed by Baltimore as an international free agent in January 2010. Still only 20 Rodriguez shows amazing poise and self-confidence on the mound. He has the type of mound demeanor that can carry him through the best of times and some difficult hiccups should they arise. He doesn't get rattled. Rodriguez uses a combination of a late-moving two-seam and four-seam fastballs a biting slider and a solid changeup as his primary repertoire. He induces ground balls and swings and misses with both velocity and pitch location. In short he knows how to pitch. And he'll get better with more experience against quality hitters. Rodriguez began his career with the Orioles in the Dominican Summer League in 2010. Finishing with a 3-4 record he had a sparkling 2.33 ERA. Only 17 at the time Rodriguez yielded less than a hit per inning giving up 48 in 65 2/3 innings. He didn't allow a home run. He did however walk 28 batters showing signs that his command and control were targets for improvement. The following season Rodriguez came to the United States and pitched at two Orioles classifications. He threw to a 1.81 ERA for the Orioles' Rookie level team in the Gulf Coast League. Again he yielded less than a hit per inning in his 44 2/3 innings of work. Lowering his walk rate a bit his WHIP was only 1.01. He got a taste of advanced play at Class A short-season Aberdeen that season as well but he pitched in only one game throwing four innings. The past two seasons Rodriguez has faced increasingly more mature and better quality hitters as he has completed a season at Class A Delmarva as well as spending this past year at Class A Advanced Frederick and Double-A Bowie. So in his four-year career Rodriguez has progressed quickly and effectively through the Orioles' farm system. This past July Rodriguez was named to the World Team for the All-Star Futures Game. He pitched one inning striking out one and allowing one hit. When I saw him pitch for the Surprise Saguaros in the Arizona Fall League Rodriguez threw three innings. He had already thrown 145 innings for the season so I wasn't expecting to see him for an extended outing. But I liked what I saw.
Orioles prospect Eduardo Rodriguez has stuff, confidence to succeed
MLB.com | Oct 24