It’s a warm humid spring day. The towering body of a 6’5″, 21-year-old phenom stares down the batter in the batters box. It’s an 0-2 count, and before the bat can be lifted from the shoulder, a 100 mph fastball zips by, the bat swinging past it late, catching nothing but air. This has become the norm for minor league batters between Single and Double-A levels.
This young phenom is taking the minors by storm and moving up the ranks of the Orioles minor league system, fans anxious with anticipation of what the future will hold. Grayson Rodriguez has caught the eye of most of the league, obviously dangling all sorts of prospects in hopes the Orioles will trade him to their team (it’s not going to happen).
Rodriguez stormed onto the scene with the Orioles’ Single-A affiliate, the Delmarva Shorebirds, by starting five games in impressive fashion. He went 3-0 with a miniscule 1.54 ERA, allowing only four earned runs over 23.2 innings. Perhaps the most impressive stat was he had an 8:1 strikeouts to walk ratio, striking out 40 with only five walks. The Orioles had seen enough and decided to promote him to the Double-A Bowie Baysox.
Since the promotion, Rodriguez has, if possible, gotten even better. He has pitched 10 innings, winning two games in two starts. In striking out 14 unexpecting batters, G-Rodzilla has destroyed the opposition to the tune of a 0.90 ERA. Sadly for Orioles fans, both his starts have been on the road, so only highlights and stories are all that have been seen.
That is until today, June 14, 2021! The Baysox, who are currently in first place at 25-9, will host the Akron RubberDucks, currently 20-14 and five games behind Bowie, to open a five-game series. Baysox and Oriole fans will get to see their first glimpse of Grayson up close and personal, as he looks to mow down the RubberDucks without a peep.
Game time is at 6:35 p.m. ET, where fans will be able to not only see our young fire baller, but also be able to collect a Baysox koozie! With all the heat coming from G-Rodzilla, a koozie might be the only thing to keep your drinks cold, like the Akron bats will tend to be.
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