Scouting Report: Ricardo Rodriguez

Venezuelan C prospect Ricardo Rodriguez

Kiley shares a scouting report on arguably the top catcher in this July 2nd class, Ricardo Rodriguez.

The Short Version: Ricardo Rodriguez shows the ability to stay behind the plate and has the tools as a hitter to project as an everyday player, making him arguably the top catcher in this July 2nd crop.

The 5'10/180 Venezuelan has a solid-average arm and posted pop times around 2.00 (big league average) with a top time of 1.97 on my stopwatch. His throwing mechanics are fine and his release is about average, but he rushed himself, causing some consistency issues. Some players this age (16) will add arm strength in the next few years as well. Rodriguez is pretty solid as a receiver: not the best at the MLB showcase, but reasonably comfortable with good enough actions, hands and footwork to project as average with some work.

As you can see in the video, Rodriguez isn't much of a runner, grading out as a 40 on the 20-80 scale, but the bat stands out for his age. He flashed above average bat speed with fringy to average raw power potential (12-15 homers annually) and a direct bat path in batting practice. He also hit well in the games, making hard contact each time at the plate and that's pretty rare in this setting.

Rodriguez projects as a league average bat and defender at a premium position, if it all works out. I'm sure more than a few clubs see him as a high six figure to seven figure talent and he was the best catching prospect I saw in the Dominican last month, or am aware of in this class (in an admittedly down year at the position). His ultimate price may come down to how savvy his agent is, as being the best player on the market at your position could attract a bidding war with the right strategy, possibly pushing his bonus comfortably into the 7 figure region.

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