Monday, February 3, 2014

Prospect Countdown: #24 Colin Rodgers

24. Colin Rodgers Left Handed Pitcher

Age: 20
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 180
B/T: L/L
Acquired: Drafted in the 3rd round of the 2012 MLB Amateur Draft

2013 Rank: 22

Landon Adams (19): Once again I come in higher than the rest of the staff in regards to Colin Rodgers. A former $700K Bonus Baby, Rodgers boasts a career 2.63 ERA over 92.1 professional innings. It will be noted by many that Rodgers ERA is misleading in comparison to his peripheral rate stats, however, it should also be pointed out that Rodgers has been excellent in inducing weak contact. Throughout his brief time in the Majors he has excelled in limiting hard contact and has allowed opposing hitters just a 9% LD% against him.

After a dynamite start for Lexington on the surface, Rodgers poor strikeout to walk ratio caught up with him a bit in August. In 18.2 innings over the final month of the season opposing hitters hit .369 against Rodgers on balls in play. Despite posting a WHIP of 1.77 (the highest single month WHIP of his professional career) Rodgers continued to limit the damage and allowed just 6 earned runs to cross the plate. This could be a testament to Rodgers pitchability or poise, but it could also be another sign of good luck. Ultimately, the best indicator for Minor League pitching is the strikeout rate and at this point in his career Rodgers is only averaging 5.32 strikeouts per 9 innings.

Paden Bennett (24): Rodgers doesn't have overpowering stuff, but he can locate his fastball and has a good curveball as an out pitch.  His SO/9 last year was 6.8 last season with 33 K's in 44 innings, however the walks were the problem.  Rodgers had 21 walks in those 44 innings and that number needs to come down if he wants to remain a candidate to be a starter in his career rather than a lefty specialist.

Joe Cox (NR): For the second year in a row, I am the lowest of the four of us on the 20 year old lefty.  It is hard to judge the former third round pick as he has yet to throw 100 total innings in the minors, but so far we are seeing that Rodgers is a work in progress that needs some obvious refining.  Rodgers displays an 88-91 fastball, as well as a potential plus change up and curveball.  He is thought to have a better ‘feel’ for pitching than most players his age.  The results in 2013 were mixed, in nine starts and 44 IP he posted a 3.27 ERA, but for the second year in a row had an over run difference in FIP at 4.31 last year.  He did jump from rookie ball to low A, and saw an increase in strikeouts, but that went with a significant increase in walks.  People seem to trust his stuff, so we will see if he can harness that with results in 2014. 

Dan Ware (21): The now 20 year old showcased another good year on the mound.  Throwing 44 innings, striking out 33 and walking 21 with a FIP of 4.31, Rodgers managed a 52% groundball rate, while limiting flyballs to 27.4%.  Although his fastball can touch 93 mph, he tries to fool batters by purposefully changing speeds on his fastball, as low as 84 mph.  Along with the FB, he has in his arsenal a potentially plus curve and change up.  I'd like Rodgers to work on limiting the walks and moving the ball around the plate along with changing speeds.  He should join fellow teammate Miguel Almonte in Wilmington to start 2014.

Nicholas Ian Allen (--): The 2013 season was cut short for Colin Rodgers after he suffered a muscle strain and partial UCL tear in May. Up to that point, however, there has been much to feel good about when looking at the 20-year-old lefty. 

After a very impressive 2012 season in the Appalachian League, Rodgers followed with a solid showing last season in the South Atlantic League. His numbers would have been more impressive if he had not had such a rough final start (7 hits and 5 earned runs in 4 innings on May 28 - he entered that game with a 2.48 ERA in 8 previous starts).

Rodgers is a strike-thrower. He does not overpower hitters, but his low-90s fastball and above-average curveball gets them out. Hitters do not often make solid contact against him, as he held them to a minuscule 6.5% LD% in 2012 and a better-than-average 11.9% in 2013. 

He projects as a LOOGY-type reliever - he excels against left-handed hitters. Thus far, Rodgers has held lefties to .185/.260/.246  and a .244 BABIP while striking out 27.4% of those he has faced. However, he has been very good at a very young age and will have plenty of opportunities to prove he can start.

Time will tell if Rodgers is able to bounce back from the injury. After suffering a setback in September, he underwent minor surgery. He has a good reputation for being coachable, hard working and for being a positive influence in the clubhouse - strong praise for a teenager. I anticipate he will return to Lexington to start the season, and if the arm heals smoothly and he pitches well, will finish the year in Wilmington.

Total Points: 29

No comments:

Post a Comment