2022 Pre-Season SF Giants Prospects: 20-11
16. Randy Rodriguez
Weight: 166 lbs.
Projected Level: Eugene (High-A)
MLB ETA: 2025
Tool Grades: (Present/Future)
FB 55/60 | SL 55/60 | CH 40/45 | CMD 40/50
PV 30 | FV 40
One of the biggest revelations of the 2021 season, Rodriguez came into the season with little to no fanfare. At the end of the season, though, plenty has now recognized his name after he was placed on the 40-man roster ahead of other household names in the Giants prospect community as a result of his breakout season in San Jose.
Working initially as the middle reliever before moving to the back-end of the bullpen based on merit, Rodriguez primarily used a two-pitch mix to get either righties or lefties out. His first main out pitch is his 93-98 MPH heater with plenty of tailing movement with relative flatness at the top of the zone because of his low ¾ release point. His second out pitch is the slider that is one of the best, if not the best, in the farm system with sharp and tight late break. Rodriguez showed better command at the second half of the season but was filling the zone consistently all season long, throwing either of the two in any count against any hitter regardless of handedness.
With the recent remark from the front office that Rodriguez could be stretched in a starting role, a third pitch is needed and his power changeup is a viable third offering with late, two-seam movement. Continuing to develop confidence with the pitch is essential as he only threw the pitch early in the count against lefties. While he is very athletic on the mound generating plus arm speed with his drop-and-drive delivery, his arm action puts plenty of stress on his rotator cuff.
Whether or not Rodriguez is a starter hinge on developing the third pitch. Expect his fastball velocity to tick down a couple as he does not need to go full send in five-inning stints. Rodriguez still plays better as a reliever rather than a full-fledged starter with his wipeout fastball-slider combination.