Signed as an international free agent in 2012, catching prospect David Rodriguez is coming off his first full season of professional minor league baseball, firmly cemented as a worthwhile catching prospect. He spent 2016 hitting an exactly league average 100 wRC+ for Bowling Green in the Midwest League, while providing above average defense behind the plate.
Now he’s piecing his whole game together against more diverse pitching.
The Venezuelan 20 year-old has been on a tear in the Australian Baseball League. He flew out just before the new year so he’s only played eight games in the league, but he has at least one hit in every game he’s played, and five of those 14 hits have gone for extra bases. He’s slashing .412/.444/.676 for an OPS of 1.121 over the 36 PA, which would rank him as the best hitter in the league if he qualified.
This is impressive on its own, but even more so when you consider what position he plays, how young he is, and that he’s known more for his defense behind the plate than his bat.
It’s hard to say whether his success in the admittedly hitter-friendly league will translate back stateside next year, but there’s no doubt the prospect is trending in the right direction.
Rodriguez is joined in the ABL by prospects 3B Kevin Padlo and OF Tommy Milone.