Phillies Prospect #19: Julio Rodriguez

Julio Rodriguez isn't the picture perfect type of pitcher, but he does have a curveball that would make a few major leaguers drool. While the picture may not be perfect, the fact is that he finds a way to get guys out and that's what counts most.

Julio Rodriguez

Position: Starting Pitcher
Bats/Throws: Right/Right
Birthday/Age: August 29, 1990 (22)
Ht/Wt: 6'4", 195 pounds

How he became a Phillie: Drafted by the Phillies in the eighth round of the 2008 Draft out of the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy.

Repertoire: Rodriguez' best pitch is his curve, which is the classic looping curveball that pitchers dream of throwing. He has pretty good command of the pitch and has hitters cork-screwing themselves into the ground since he doesn't tip off the pitch with his delivery. At the end of 2012, Rodriguez was picking up some velocity on his fastball, but it's still only 93, at best and has some late movement, but nothing special. Rodriguez throws a change-up, but it's not very effective.

Scouting Report: One area where Rodriguez struggles is staying consistent with his delivery. He has a tendency to rush himself, especially when he gets runners on base, which tends to leave his pitches up in the zone. When he stays back and is deliberate with his delivery, he stays on top of his pitches and can strike out a lot of hitters. In order for him to really develop into a strong middle-rotation type pitcher, he's going to need some help with his change-up and consistency. Hopefully, he'll either continue to develop some velocity or find more movement on his fastball.

Ceiling: Right now, it's hard to gauge where Rodriguez will ultimately find himself, because of his inconsistency. Since he's still just 22, there is time for Rodriguez to gain that repetitive delivery that he needs and to put everything in place. This could be a big season for Rodriguez to prove that he's a top-rank prospect. Best bet right now is that Rodriguez can work himself into the middle of a major league rotation.

ETA: It's likely that Rodriguez is going to need a little extra time at the upper levels. Spending 2013 at Double-A Reading might not be a bad idea and then a season at Triple-A and if all goes well, Rodriguez will be in position to battle for a rotation spot in 2015, which isn't bad, since he'll be 24 then and should have mastered his delivery and command.

Julio Rodriguez' career stats

20102 Teams731.89201290.15726194371261.0413.41
5 Seasons31203.299469441.0334185161401894941.1862.61
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 1/31/2013.

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