SF Giants pitching prospect Randy Rodriguez is the only player who was on the 40-man roster at the beginning of the year to not yet make an appearance for San Francisco. That could soon change.
Intriguing SF Giants pitching prospect earns quick promotion to Triple-A
Rodriguez received a promotion to Triple-A on Tuesday after a brief stint with the Richmond Flying Squirrels in Double-A. The pitching prospect is now just one step away from a promotion to the major league club.
The pitching prospect burst onto the scene with an impressive 2021 campaign with the San Jose Giants where he posted a 1.74 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 14.7 K/9, and a 4.39 SO/W ratio in 62 frames out of the bullpen. He was eligible for the Rule 5 draft last offseason, but the Giants protected him by adding him to the 40-man roster.
It was a mild surprise but pitchers like Rodriguez with high strikeout totals in the lower minors tend to get plucked away in the Rule 5 draft. Of course, the Rule 5 draft was cancelled following the end of the lockout.
Interestingly enough, the front office intended to bring the 22-year-old pitcher along as a starter, but that is an experiment that came to a halt midway through this year. The quickest way for Rodriguez to make an impact is as a reliever, so the Giants went in that direction.
He made six appearances in Double-A where he allowed seven earned runs on seven hits, eight walks, and 19 strikeouts. The right-handed hurler debuted for the Sacramento River Cats on Tuesday night where he tallied one scoreless inning on one hit, one walk, and one strikeout.
Rodriguez was never considered a top prosect in the Giants farm system but he has shown plenty of intrigue since his breakout season in 2021. Baseball America (subscription required) ranked him as the No. 29 prospect in the organization while highlighting his quality pitch mix:
""Rodriguez largely works with two pitches: a high-spin fastball thrown in the mid 90s and a dastardly slider in the low 80s. His slider is particularly nasty because of its high spin rate and excellent sweeping life. Rodriguez will also mix in a mid-80s changeup with roughly 10 mph of separation from his fastball. Rodriguez could stand to tighten his control and command, but he shows the makings of an excellent pitch mix.""- Baseball America
It is not easy for relievers to get recognized on top prospect rankings due to the sheer volume of bullpen arms in any given farm system. Even less have the potential for three quality pitches, so Rodriguez is a prospect to monitor as the season progresses.
The Giants have a handful of relievers who will likely make an appearance for the major league club before the end of the season. Some are not on the 40-man roster like Scott Alexander and Shelby Miller, but Rodriguez has an inside track given that he is already on the roster.