POSITION: Left-handed starting pitcher
BORN ON: November 23, 1987
AGE: 20 years old
BORN IN: Akron, Ohio
LIVES IN: Stow, Ohio
WEIGHT: 185 pounds
SCHOOL: Walsh Jesuit High School
ACQUIRED: Selected in the third round of the 2006 June Draft
SIGNED BY: Nick Hostetler
STATISTICSClick here for Rodgers' 2007 stats
SCOUTING REPORTWhen you look at Chad Rodgers' game logs from the 2007 season you see two bad games. He gave up five runs in three innings on July 8th, and then nine runs in 2.2 innings on July 27th. Take those two games away and his ERA in the other nine games was 1.47. So his overall ERA of 3.88 was bloated by those two poor performances.
For the most part, though, Rodgers had solid outings, with good control and good strikeout numbers. He had only 11 walks in 11 games, and almost a strikeout per inning (46 K's in 48.2 innings pitched).
While Jeff Locke is all about his power fastball, Chad Rodgers is all about the command of his fastball. He doesn't throw it as fast as Locke (88-91 mph), but coaches say he can command it when he needs to almost every time. He'll spot the fastball and throw it right where he wants to when he needs it.
Rodgers went to the Instructional League to work more on his curveball. He doesn't have a conventional curveball. When he tries to do too much it can flatten out and not be as effective. The Braves want him to grip it and throw it as hard as he throws his fastball and let it do its job. When he left Instructs, the Braves were thrilled with his progress.
He'll continue to work on his curveball in Rome. It's still a little too loopy at times, so the Braves will continue to develop that for the full season team. His changeup is good.
Rodgers was compared to Cliff Lee when he was drafted, and the similarities are definitely there. The Braves still love his potential, and are anxious to see how Rodgers does with a full-season team for the first time.
Some in the Braves' organization believe that Rodgers could really have a breakout season this year in Rome, where he'll join Jeff Locke and Steve Evarts in the rotation. The lefty made great strides last season in Danville and at Instructs, and the team believes he'll continue to make important improvements to make himself better.
ADDITIONAL STORY LINKSChad Rodgers Chat in January of 2007
Chad Rodgers 2007 Player Profile
Bill Shanks is the author of Scout's Honor: The Bravest Way To Build A Winning Team, a look inside the Braves‘ traditional scouting and player development philosophies. Email Bill at firstname.lastname@example.org.