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David Rodriguez is still lighting Australian baseballs on fire

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Will the Rays catching prospect David Rodriguez ever cool off?

David Rodriguez
Jim Donten

When we last wrote about David Rodriguez he was slashing .412/.444/.676 with an OPS of 1.121 in 36 PA in the Australian Baseball League. Since then the catching prospect has added a HR, a double, four singles, a walk, HBP, a stolen base and three strikeouts.

That brings his slash to .444/.490/.733/1.223 in 48 PA. His 2.75 GO/AO ratio suggests he keeps the ball on the ground, but his 3 HRs this off season and 25 regular season HRs in his minor league career suggest he’s got plenty of power when he connects.

D-Rod’s MLBfarm profile confirms he’s been hitting a lot of ground balls this year; however, prior to 2016 he had no issue getting air under the ball. This could suggest he’s having difficulty making good contact with advanced pitching, though his ever-improving K and BB rates suggest he’s still learning and developing.

Rodriguez, turning 21 in February, will almost certainly spend the 2017 season at the Class A+ level with the Port Charlotte Stone Crabs. This will be his 5th year in the organization, so the Rays will need to protect him from the next Rule 5 draft by adding him to the 40 man roster if they plan on keeping him around. All signs suggest that’s what they intend to do.