BLUF: Some of the best raw power in the Mets’ system but serious questions about the rest of his game.
The Player: Aderlin Rodriguez (3B, New York Mets) – Signed in 2008 out of the Dominican Republic. Made his professional debut in the GCL in 2009, hitting .290/.389/.387 in 17 games. Moved up to the Appalachian League in 2010, hitting .312/.352/.556 with 22 doubles and 13 home runs as an 18-year old. Promoted to Low-A Savannah in 2011 and struggled through 131 games, hitting just .221/.265/.372 with 17 home runs and 23 doubles. Has returned to the South Atlantic League in 2012 and has improved across the board with a .254/.326/.459 line in 64 games.
Basis of Report: Compilation – Industry Contacts
Body (6-3, 210): Big, thick body. Thick lower half. Almost pear-shaped. Plenty of strength but middle gets soft and conditioning isn’t always at best. Has to watch body to keep it in check. Potential to bulk up too much, hampering in-field movement and swing mechanics. Potential bad-body guy as he continues maturing.
Hit: Really aggressive swinger. Consistently chases pitches out of the zone. Struggles with breaking balls and other secondary pitches. Has shown improved knowledge of the strike zone this season. Working deeper in counts. Still a ton of swing and miss and an inability to consistently barrel the ball. Lots of weak contact. Tries to pull too much. Doesn’t have natural feel for the barrel. Wild swinger at times. Serious questions about hitting ability. Don’t see it ever coming together in a significant way. Grade – 20/30
Power: Crazy raw power. Can drive it out of any park when he connects. Shows tremendous home run power in batting practice. Most present power is to pull side. Has strength to drive ball oppo but doesn’t trust hands and looks to turn on everything. Hitting ability hampers power playing in game situations. Could still be a source of power even with low average. Potential 15-18 home run type with current offensive skill set. Has raw power for far more, but unlikely to completely tap into it. Grade (raw power) – 70/70
Arm: Plus strength and solid-average accuracy. Doesn’t always look pretty but the ball gets across the diamond in a hurry and with good accuracy. True plus tool that fits at third base. Grade – 60/60
Fielding: Despite body type, has hands and reactions for third base. Questions surround his desire to improve defensively. Doesn’t always work at it. Sloppy footwork and careless actions on balls where he has time. Makes the plays when he reacts and doesn’t have time to think. Range has diminished over last two years. Currently well below-average with some tools that give projection. Very unlikely to stick at third. Could handle first base if given time to learn position, but would never be an asset there either. Grade – 30/40
Speed: Easy below-average runner that turns in some well-below average times. Doesn’t have the body to maintain speed and will end up well-below average long term. Not an instinctual base runner and could be problematic on the bases. Grade – 40/30
Summation: Raw power is very enticing. True 70 raw. Lacks feel for hitting to make it work in games. Despite arm strength, third base profile doesn’t seem in the cards. Likely shift to first base. Tons of pressure on the bat to play. Wants to hit and that’s all. Must work at defense at some position. Approach must improve for offensive game to reach substantial fraction of overall potential. Could continue to climb as all-or-nothing slugger. Despite raw power, difficult to project as big league contributor.
Relative Risk: High. Extremely high risk profile. Potential for washout is very high given crude hit tool and likely move down defensive spectrum.
Future: Has shown some improvement this season but still requires substantial work. Age is on his side in terms of continued offensive improvement, but also working against him as he approaches physical maturity and likely moves across the infield. If the bat doesn’t reach full potential, he lacks the profile to be considered a true prospect.