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San Francisco Giants Biggest Surprises in 2018

Jake Mastroianni
PHOENIX, AZ - JULY 01: Nick Hundley #5 (R) of the San Francisco Giants high fives Derek Holland #45 after scoring against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the second inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on July 1, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - JULY 01: Nick Hundley #5 (R) of the San Francisco Giants high fives Derek Holland #45 after scoring against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the second inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on July 1, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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San Francisco Giants
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – AUGUST 29: Dereck Rodriguez #57 of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the first inning at AT&T Park on August 29, 2018 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

Dereck Rodriguez

There is no reason to beat around the bush, Dereck Rodriguez was the biggest and best surprise for the San Francisco Giants in 2018.

He virtually came out of nowhere and was the Giants second best pitcher for most of the season, and even pushed for the NL Rookie of the Year until Ronald Acuna Jr. went off in the second half of the season.

Rodriguez was drafted in the sixth round of the 2011 MLB Draft by the Minnesota Twins. After five seasons in the Twins minor league organization, he was let go and became a minor league free agent.

The San Francisco Giants scooped him up on a minor league deal and the rest is history.

He started the 2018 season in Triple-A where he had a 3.40 ERA in nine starts, striking out 53 batters in 50.1 innings pitched.

The 26-year-old was even better for the Giants going 6-4 with a 2.81 ERA in 21 games (19 starts) with 89 strikeouts in 118.1 innings pitched.

That is certainly not what the Giants were expecting with Rodriguez, but it was a nice surprise.

Over five minor league seasons, Rodriguez’ numbers were actually pretty decent with a 3.54 ERA in 427.1 innings pitched with 370 strikeouts.

So there is certainly hope that D-Rod can continue to put up solid numbers in the middle of the Giants’ rotation for years to come.

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