Cards prospect interview: Jonathan Rodriguez

The Cardinals first base prospect moved up to Double-A Springfield after a solid 2013 at Palm Beach.

On one hand, Jonathan Rodriguez has big shoes to fill at first base for the Double-A Springfield Cardinals. On the other hand, the 24-year-old is ready for the challenge.

For the Texas League Cardinals, Xavier Scruggs manned first for the last two seasons. Hitting over 20 long balls for the fourth consecutive year, Scruggs' 29 home runs were second in the league and first in the Cardinals system in 2013.

That left Rodriguez one level down, as he punished Florida State League opponents with 18 home runs, 72 RBI and a surprising 21 stolen bases in 25 attempts last season. The right-handed hitter finished in the FSL's top ten in most offensive categories, including batting average, hits, extra-base hits, doubles, home runs, total bases, walks and slugging. The Puerto Rican native was a member of the Florida State League All-Star team.

In addition to participating in minor league spring training camp in 2014, Rodriguez was called upon to don St. Louis' uniform. He had four hitless at-bats in three Grapefruit League contests.

With Scruggs moving up to Memphis, Rodriguez took over in Springfield. In the early going, the 6-foot-2, 205-pounder is adjusting nicely to Double-A with two home runs and eight RBI in nine games. His line is .278/.350/.528/.878.

Having enjoyed a small taste of the big leagues, Rodriguez continues to work hard and focus on his ultimate goal. He discusses that and more in the following exclusive interview.


Coming soon: Other upcoming interviews from Springfield include Patrick Wisdom and coach Packy Elkins.

Previously posted Springfield interviews:
Manager Mike Shildt
Shortstop Aledmys Diaz
Pitcher Kurt Heyer
Pitcher Zach Petrick
Pitcher Sam Gaviglio

Brian Walton can be reached via email at Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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