Prospect Highlights: Pitching From Joely Rodriguez and Nick Hutchings

Joely Rodriguez retired 11 straight batters to end his outing on Thursday night, with the final out shown in the video below. Rodriguez finished the game with one hit and one run allowed over seven innings. His first taste of AA has been a bit disappointing, with a high BAA and a low strikeout rate. The Pirates have had 26 minor league pitchers throw at least 45 innings this year and Rodriguez’s 4.6 SO/9 is the lowest rate of the group. He has had some rough outings, so his showing this week is good to see from the young lefty. The jump to AA is a big one in the minors, so the struggles aren’t surprising, but Rodriguez was added to the 40-man roster this year. That means he could run into trouble with options if he takes too long to develop. With more outings like Thursday night, that won’t be a problem.

Since the video above isn’t much, here is a video of Rodriguez from Spring Training

The second player featured today is GCL pitcher Nick Hutchings. The 18-year-old righty from Australia made his second start as a pro on Friday. He went five innings, allowing seven hits and two runs, both of which were unearned. Hutchings was signed in November 2012 and pitched in the Australian Baseball League that Winter, despite being just 16 years old at the time. The Pirates were one of five teams scouting him at the time he was signed and Hutchings had an impressive amateur career in Australia. The video below is courtesy of the GCL Pirates fan page.

John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

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Dom DiDominic

Thanks for the video’s. Nice work, as usual. I know that no one has asked about this guy, but he is finally back!

Blessed to say I get back out on the field Monday! 4 months of hard work and rehab up to this point! I've learned a lot through all of this!— Austin Meadows (@austin_meadows) June 28, 2014


Austin must have had some serious problems, don’t think any pulled muscle is going to take that long to fix.

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