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David Rodriguez is still lighting Australian baseballs on fire

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.