Finally, some good news! In an appearance on 105.7 The Fan Friday morning, Orioles GM Mike Elias announced that Grayson Rodriguez, the organization’s No. 2 prospect, will make the jump from High-A Aberdeen to Double-A Bowie for his next start.
The former 2018 11th overall pick has been absolutely electric in his MiLB career. In his first full season in 2019, Rodriguez led the Delmarva Shorebirds rotation with a 10-4 record. A 2.68 ERA in 2019 began to get him noticed, and if it wasn’t for a lack of minor league ball in 2020, Rodriguez could be much farther along.
However, Rodriguez has shown this year that not pitching in 2020 didn’t affect him at all. In five games in Aberdeen this season, Rodriguez is a perfect 3-0. In 23.1 innings pitched this season, opponents are hitting only .138 with a .441 OPS against Rodriguez, and his major league level arsenal of pitches has netted him 40 strikeouts to just five walks.
Also, he did not give up more than one run in any of those five starts in Aberdeen. Those five starts of one run or less add to a total of 31 games in his career where he has given up two runs or less, with 16 of those games being shut out appearances. No wonder his career ERA is 2.30!
“He had another dominant performance, and we feels he’s ready for Double-A. That’s one, but we’ll be talking about other players as well. Whether it’s this week or next, we have some kids off to great starts.”O’s GM Mike Elias on Rodriguez’s promotion
As we have said before, we want to see improvements in these prospects over time. Compared to 2019, Rodriguez has improved on almost every stat in the book. His K/9 has jumped from 12.35 to 15.43, a whole inning’s worth of strikeouts above his 2019 total.
His walks per nine has been cut in half, while nearly tripling his strikeout to walk ratio from 2019. Opposing hitters’ OBP has been cut down by .05, and their batting average with balls in play has been cut down by .03. Those are some very good improvements, especially considering no games were played all of 2020.
The most exciting part about this move is he now joins a rotation that already features D.L. Hall and Kevin Smith. With two of the Orioles’ top four prospects in that pitching staff, you can expect a lot of ballgames to be won. Even better, he will now be battery mates with the Orioles No. 1 prospect, Adley Rutschman!
This is a very exciting time for Rodriguez and Oriole fans, as one of the best pitchers in all of MiLB inches closer to his big league debut.
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