Orem, Utah —— Entering play on Friday night, Los Angeles Angels right-handed pitching prospect Chris Rodriguez has made one start for the rookie-level Orem Owlz, a June 19 outing in which he allowed seven earned runs in two innings, on seven hits and a walk—and one home run—with three strikeouts. I observed that start for the Los Angeles Angels’ former fourth round (2016) draft pick; below is Baseball Census‘ full Chris Rodriguez scouting report, including video from that outing.
Chris Rodriguez Scouting Report — Video
Here is Los Angeles Angels prospect Chris Rodriguez’s full start from Monday against the visiting Ogden Raptors:
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Chris Rodriguez Scouting Report — Notes
Tall, strong frame, and gains a lot of velocity from his upper body. Worried that his aggressive delivery isn’t sustainable and could cause injuries down the road. Long legs, big thighs. Needs to learn to exert more force from his lower half, because he’s too much of a max effort guy in his upper body to likely remain a starter for years to come. Heavy fastball, sits 93-94 mph, and touched 95 mph multiple times. Future potential to regularly hit upper 90s as he gets older and better understands how to use his body. Struggled with command, though; hit multiple batters and had a hard time throwing consistent strikes. A lot of hard contact when left up in the zone and fastball flattened out.
Slider and changeup both could become plus pitches, and his curveball isn’t far behind. The slider stole the show on June 19, though, with sharp, late movement. Once he learns more consistent command, it will be an elite strikeout pitch. The changeup is equally as good, as it looks like a fastball out of the hand and entices the hitter to swing early. Good arm speed on each off-speed pitch, doesn’t tip them by slowing down arm or delivery. Chris Rodriguez has very impressive makeup for an 18 year old, and didn’t look flustered on the mound despite the rough start. The Los Angeles Angels have themselves a legitimate pitching prospect very early on in development here.
Chris Rodriguez Scouting Report — Projection
Still very young with a high ceiling, so unfair to project him into the bullpen already, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s where he ends up with that hard fastball, hard slider, and high-effort delivery. Needs innings before that hypothetical move, though, and that coupled with being in the Los Angeles Angels’ relatively barren farm system ought to keep him in the rotation for at least a few years, if not longer. He does have four distinct pitches, though, and that alone could keep him a starter—especially as he continues to refine his mechanics and improve command, and in turn gets plus velocity without such a high-effort motion to do it.
At his age, though, with such an advanced repertoire and good velocity, there’s little question he’ll soon become the Los Angeles Angels’ best pitching prospect. It’s still a long way off, but Chris Rodriguez could turn into a future frontline starter if the development path continues relatively smoothly, especially in this organization’s weak, shallow farm system.