Aneury Rodriguez Is Underrated
Some guys perform, but still get lost in the shuffle when it comes time to rank prospects.
Aneury Rodriguez, a 21-year-old righthander in the Colorado Rockies organization, is one of them.
Baseball America ranked him 16th on their most recent Rockies top prospect list. In December, Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus came out with a top prospects list for the Rockies. He ranked his top 14. Rodriguez wasn’t one of them.
It’s hard to see why there hasn’t been more buzz.
Last year, Rodriguez started 27 games and threw 156.1 innings for High-A Modesto of the hitter-friendly California League. He had a 3.74 ERA, allowed less than a hit an inning, and struck out 21.4% of the batters he faced.
Of all the pitchers who threw at least 90 innings in that league last season, only three had a higher strikeout percentage.
The ability to strike batters out — something Rodriguez has consistently done well throughout his minor league career — is one of the best ways to gauge how legit a prospect is.
He’s also seen his walk totals drop steadily over the years. In his debut season in 2005, he walked 3.8 batters per nine innings. Last season, he issued just 2.3 walks per nine. That’s roughly a 40% drop from 2005.
Rodriguez does tend to be a flyball pitcher, something that could be an issue in Coors Field, one of the more hitter-friendly parks in the majors. But he strikes people out at a strong clip and doesn’t walk many, and that’s always a good starting point for success.
Rodriguez is a solid prospect and better than most give him credit for. He’s one of the top 5-to-10 prospects in the Colorado system, and its third best pitching prospect behind Jhoulys Chacin and Christian Friedrich.
Rodriguez is likely to open the year at AA-Tulsa — and at 21, he would be ahead of the age curve for that level. He could be a September call-up.