Skip to main content

ProspectNation 2011: #17 Julio Rodriguez

Righty hurler Julio Rodriguez shot up the Phillies' prospect rankings over the past year. Drafted in the 8th round of the 2008 amateur draft as a 17-year-old out of Puerto Rico, Rodriguez has developed both physically and as a player during his time in the Phillies' system.

After an unsuccessful professional debut in 2008 with the Gulf Coast League Phillies (12.19 ERA in 7 games), Rodriguez returned to the GCL in 2009 and showed improvement along with some added muscle. In 11 games (8 starts) that season, Rodriguez posted a 1-2 record with a 3.08 ERA and a .197 batting average against.

As a 19-year-old, Rodriguez began the 2010 season in extended spring training, before making his Class A debut with Lakewood in late May, when he made a spot start in place of an injured Jonathan Pettibone. In his first BlueClaws appearance against the Hagerstown Suns, Rodriguez showed glimpses of things to come as he struck out the side in both the 2nd and 3rd innings before being relieved in the 4th. Despite lacking blazing speed on his fastball (J-Rod's fastball regularly peeked in the low 90's during the 2010 regular season), his strike out totals were extremely impressive.

Rodriguez capitalized on keeping opposing batters guessing with his solid off-speed pitches. He racked up 126 K’s in 96 1/3 innings at two levels in 2010. Rodriguez has a strong curveball that dives away from right-handed batters and a solid change up that will improve as his advances through the minors.

The 6'4", 200 pound Rodriguez is versatile, as shown by his ability to perform strong in both relief and starting roles during time with Lakewood and short season Williamsport, where he spent roughly five weeks from mid June into late July, in 2010. Combined at both levels, Rodriguez posted an overall win-loss record of 7-3 with a 1.89 ERA in 20 games (12 starts).

Lakewood's 2010 manager Mark Parent, who will manage Double A Reading in 2011, said of Rodriguez late last season, "He’s done nothing but impress us. In any role...long relief, starting, I’m very impressed with him."

Rodriguez was named the Phillies minor league pitcher of the month in August, when he recorded a 1-1 record with a 1.17 ERA in 6 games (2 starts). That month, he struck out 38 opponents in 23 innings while holding batters to a .160 batting average. Julio also celebrated his 20th birthday in August.

After helping Lakewood win a second consecutive South Atlantic League championship, Rodriguez pitched for his native Puerto Rico in the Pan-American qualifying tournament and continued his excellent year by posting a 3-1 record and a 2.00 ERA in 11 games for the Gigantes of the Puerto Rican Winter League.

From what I've heard, the Phillies prefer Rodriguez as a starting pitcher, which is why he was moved out of the bullpen to join Lakewood's rotation as they pushed toward their postseason.

Due to his age and the quantity of other starting pitchers that are likely to be assigned to High-A Level Clearwater this coming season, Rodriguez could return to Lakewood in 2011, but is certainly considered a rising star within the Phillies organization.

______________________________________________________

This piece was also featured on PhilliesNation.com.

You can follow PhoulBallz.com on Twitter by clicking HERE.

Connect with PhoulBallz.com on Facebook by clicking HERE.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

This Guy Speaks For All of You

This individual, interviewed by FOX 29 on Friday as the Phillies arrived back at Citizens Bank Park, said it best. When asked how he felt regarding the Phillies, he told Steve Keeley that he was, "Stoked, baby!" The unidentified phanatic then proclaimed, "We are talking about the Fightins here, the Fightins! Said!" Check out the media player below, as the transcribed version certainly does not do this phireball of phandom justice. The Phillies forced game 6 of the National League Championship Series with a 4-2 victory over the Giants in San Francisco on Thursday night. Game 6 will feature Roy Oswalt vs. Jonathan Sanchez in a return pitching match up from game 2. First pitch is scheduled for 7:57 pm EST at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. Be sure to tune in on 97.3 ESPN's Weekend Sports Guide with Tyrone Johnson this afternoon around 1:15pm to hear me chatting about the Phillies! 97.3 is based in Atlantic City. You can listen live online HERE . _________

2022 Phillies Top Prospects Countdown: #15 Infielder Kendall Simmons

An All-Star in 2019 with the short-season Class-A Williamsport Crosscutters,  Kendall Simmons  is one of the Phillies' most promising prospects.   Simmons, an outstanding and multi-positional infielder, was the Phillies' 6th round draft pick in 2018. That year, he made his professional debut in the Rookie level Gulf Coast League, posting a .234 average with three homers and 11 RBI in 32 games. The right-handed batter tallied a .234 batting average with 12 homers, 34 RBI and five stolen bases in 51 games with Williamsport in 2019.  In the 2020-2021 off-season, Simmons played in the Australian Baseball League, making up for some of the time missed due to the cancelled 2020 season.  In 21 games with Adelaide, he notched a .172 batting average with a home run, seven RBI and three steals.  Last year, Simmons played primarily with Class A Clearwater.  With the Threshers, he recorded a .226/.321/.460 slash line in 41 games.  Listed at six-feet-two, 180 pounds, strength and athleticism

2022 Phillies Top Prospects Countdown: #14 OF Yhoswar Garcia

Righty hitting outfielder Yhoswar Garcia is a Phillies prospect on the rise. Reportedly signed in 2020 for a $2.5 million bonus, the six-foot tall 150-pounder has played state side in Florida. Debuting as a pro in Class A Clearwater last summer, Garcia notched a .229/.299/.271 slash line with 11 steals through 18 contests. Repeating the same level to open this season, Garcia has produced improved offensive numbers in the early going. Equipped with plus speed, Garcia is a threat to swipe a bag anytime he reaches base.  Through 14 games with the Threshers this season, the 20-year-old has pilfered 13 bases. Exceptionally skilled in the field, the Venezuelan is said to tout considerable range and a is as solid in centerfield as you can find at his level. Playing every day on a full-season club is just what a talented, athletic youngster with the skillset Garcia possesses will benefit most from.   Please visit  Patreon.com/PhoulBallz  in order to support my work and get access to exclusive