||Born: December 18, 1984
Height: 6′ 0″
Drafted: 2nd Round, 57th Overall, 2006
How Acquired: In exchange for cash.
College: Rice University
WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES
|The Pirates acquired Rodriguez from Cleveland twice within the span of half a year. They selected him with the first pick in the 2010 Rule 5 draft, but returned him early in the 2011 season, then re-acquired him two months later for cash. He’s an offense-oriented infielder who projects as a utility player. Other than a good arm, he doesn’t have better than average defensive ability, although there are some mixed opinions on his glove. He played mainly short in his first two years with the Indians’ organization, but he’s divided his time since then between short and second, with the latter probably being his best position. He’s also played just a little at third and in the outfield. His speed is average. I’ve seen several comments indicating that scouts have questions about his attitude.
Debuted with good season in short season ball.
The Indians moved Rodriguez up to high A and he responded with a 20-HR season, although that level of power proved to be unrepeatable. His line otherwise was about the same as 2006, with a very good walk total. He fanned in a fifth of his ABs and had nearly half his career total of steals.
Rodriguez didn’t do much in his first exposure to AA other than draw a lot of walks. He also set a career high for Ks. He divided his time between second and short.
Back in AA, Rodriguez played in only 33 games, missing most of the season due to a hamstring injury.
Had a big season, earning a promotion to AAA after 21 games and hitting well there, too. He played mostly short, but saw some time at second and a little practically everywhere else.
After being selected in the Rule 5 draft, Rodriguez had a good spring and made the Pirates’ roster. He played little, though, getting just a dozen ABs and fanning eight times. The Pirates designated him for assignment just three weeks into the season. He ended up back with the Indians, who sent him to AAA. He went on the disabled list in May, though, and played only 18 games in the Indians’ system. He must have lost status with Cleveland very quickly, because after declining to work out a deal allowing the Pirates to keep him in April, they sent him back to the Pirates for cash consideration in June. The Pirates needed infielders at that point due to injuries and promotions. They sent Rodriguez to Indianapolis initially, but after six games there they sent him to Altoona for the rest of the season. He didn’t show the bat he had in 2010. He struggled with RHPs, with an OPS of .604 against them, compared to .844 against LHPs. His plate discipline also slipped. He split his time between second and short.
It was encouraging to see the Pirates give Rodriguez a shot, because it showed they were looking for an offense-oriented utility player rather than their usual preference for no-bat glove guys. It was also good to see them try a player who might have some future with the team, instead of dragging in washed-up veterans like Luis Rivas and Bobby Crosby to fill their bench roles. Unfortunately, Rodriguez didn’t turn out to be the right guy. The speed with which he seems to have lost prospect status in the eyes of both the Pirates and the Indians–Clint Hurdle said the Bucs re-acquired Rodriguez as “organizational depth”–probably doesn’t speak well of the Pirates’ scouting. He won’t be a minor league free agent yet and so should be back in 2012, at either AAA or AA depending on where there’s an opening. He was eligible for the Rule 5 draft again but wasn’t selected.
|2012: Minor League Contract|
|Signing Bonus: $625,000
MiLB Debut: 2006
MLB Debut: N/A
MiLB FA Eligible: N/A
MLB FA Eligible: N/A
Rule 5 Eligible: N/A
Added to 40-Man: 12/9/2010 (removed 4/22/2011)
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|June 5, 2003: Drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 39th round, 1172nd overall.
June 5, 2006: Drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 2nd round, 57th overall; signed on July 4.
December 9, 2010: Selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates from the Cleveland Indians with the 1st pick in the Rule 5 draft.
April 22, 2011: Designated for assignment by the Pittsburgh Pirates and returned to the Cleveland Indians.
June 21, 2011: Acquired by the Pittsburgh Pirates from the Cleveland Indians for cash considerations.