You already know Buddy Reed, who needs a big AFL experience, however, have you seen Hansel Rodriguez pitch yet?
It has been quite the season for San Antonio Missions outfielder Buddy Reed. The switch-hitting, former second-round pick of the Padres participated in the MLB Future’s Game at the All-Star break and has been named to California League Mid-Season All-Star roster and the Texas League Post-Season All-Star roster. While with the Lake Elsinore Storm, Reed won two California League Player of the Week awards and one Player of the Month award (April).
Reed hit .324 in High-A, a near 100 point jump from his average in Fort Wayne last season. He was rewarded with a promotion to Double-A where he has struggled in his first 38 games. Reed is currently hitting just .152 with a .208 OBP. He has 58 strikeouts in 158 at-bats and is producing a wRC+ of nine. An unbelievable drop from his 146 mark in Lake Elsinore.
It’s clear that Reed has the athletic ability, stealing 50 bases between two minor league levels, and showcasing his speed in the outfield during this year’s Future’s Game. Reed will turn 24 when the 2019 season starts and needs a big showing in the Arizona Fall League to show he deserves to move forward within the organization.
Pitcher Hansel Rodriguez
Last on the current list is pitcher Hansel Rodriguez. Rodriguez will get a few much-needed innings in Arizona after missing most of the 2018 season with an injury. Originally acquired in a trade with the Toronto Blue Jays (Melvin Upton Jr), Rodriguez put up a fantastic year in 2017 with the Fort Wayne TinCaps.
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Making 35 appearances (10 starts), Rodriguez went 7-9 with a 3.80 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, and a 103/31 K/BB ratio. He allowed just 76 hits across 90 innings of work.
Once projected as a backend starter at the major league level, Rodriguez may be used strictly as a bullpen piece, moving forward. Currently with the Lake Elsinore Storm, Rodriguez has logged 12.2 innings (between Lake Elsinore and the Arizona League Padres), giving up five earned runs on three hits and six walks.
His fall season in Arizona will be about putting innings under his belt as he works towards pitching at full strength. Standing at 6’2″ and 170 pounds, Rodriguez has the frame to be a reliever with a 93-95 mph fastball and a decent changeup.
Just for fun, here’s Rodriguez pitching against Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
We will update when the Padres announce the final two participants in this year’s Arizona Fall League.