The Amazing Underratedness of Eduardo Rodriguez
Let me open by saying that this is my first post in over a year, and that this marks the end of a long hiatus from writing in general. Basically a forewarning that my voice and style need a little refinement. But hey, you don't want to hear about that, how about some statistics? I'll give you a hint, one of the below stat boxes (taken from BB Reference) belongs to Aaron Sanchez and one belongs to Eduardo Rodriguez.
The two pitchers are very close statistically, not identical, but they same to be cut from an identical mold.In fact, both pitchers spent 2011 split between Rookie and Low A Ball, all of 2012 at A Ball, and are currently in High A Ball. The top box belongs to Aaron Sanchez, and the bottom box belongs to Eduardo Rodriguez. Examining the boxes closely reveals many differences between the two Latino hurlers. For example, both have started and played in 9 games this season, however, Rodriguez has pitched a total of 57 innings giving him an average of 6.1 innings per start. Sanchez has pitched a total of 42.2 innings, which gives him an average of 4.2 innings per start. A peripheral statistic not explicitly stated in the box that in my opinion, puts Rodriguez ahead of Sanchez as he could easily reach AA quicker. What brings me to this conclusion? Below are the lines from all nine games this season, the boxes again belong to Sanchez and Rodriguez respectively.
Sanchez has gone 6 innings or more in a start once out of nine times this season, as opposed to Rodriguez who has failed to go 6 innings or more only once this season. Rodriguez is by all means hittable, more so than Sanchez, who consistently allows less hits per game. Sanchez is also a groundball pitcher, and Rodriguez is a flyball pitcher. To be honest this kind of scares me at Camden Yards, but Wei-Yin Chen has done surprisingly well for a flyball southpaw, and Rodriguez has not given up a homerun since his first start.
Physically Sanchez definitely has the advantage, standing 6'4 and 190lbs. he has plenty of room left to fill out. Rodriguez is 6'2 and 200lbs., he could easily add another 20lbs. to his frame in due time. Sanchez is definitely going to miss more bats and probably has the long term velocity advantage. That being said, i think Rodriguez's velocity could easily sit at 93-96mph in a year or two, couple that with a lower career BB total and lower average BB/9 and I'll take Rodriguez over Sanchez any day. Not to mention that Rodriguez is a lefty, which can never hurt. Sanchez was ranked at 65 and 35 by Baseball America and MLB.com respectively while Rodriguez went unranked. As much as I think E-Rod does not get the attention he deserves, statistics go to show that rankings are fairly meaningless, subjective, and often based on industry hype. In the end I would much rather have an unheralded prospect quietly become great rather than... well, the Charge of The Light Brigade. Sadly, until then I can only drool over the prospect of seeing Bundy, Gausman, and Rodriguez on consecutive days. I hope you enjoyed this article and feel free to leave feedback!
Content originally published by The Oriole's Nest