Diamondbacks MLB Draft Prospects – Brendan Rodgers
Last week, David Rawnsley over at SI.com released his 2015 MLB Mock Draft (which takes place Monday, June 8 through Wednesday, June 10). I will be profiling his top five in that mock as each of them is a legitimate option for the Arizona Diamondbacks, who are holding the first pick in the draft. Also, my colleagues here at VenomStrikes will be adding some prospect reviews for some of the other highly touted players in the draft. Don’t forget to check them out.
Although the MLB draft is hardly the spectacle that the NBA and NFL drafts are, for the die-hard seamhead the MLB draft is something of equal importance. With up to 50 rounds of picks, it’s impossible to predict with any true accuracy who a team is going to select at any one time, but for the top of the draft it is fun to follow the prospects and predict what can happen. When your favorite team has the top pick, it can generate quite the buzz.
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Now, I am not a pro scout. I do not work for a club. I have played quite a bit in my life, including in college, and have taught the game to all ages. I, like anyone else develop opinions based on my personal experience. Just heed that information when you read these. Dave Stewart, the Diamondbacks GM is a baseball guy though, so it’ll be interesting to see what he does in his first draft at the helm.
With all that said, let’s start with Brendan Rodgers, shortstop at Lake Mary High in Florida. His listed height is 6’1″ and weight is 190 lbs. In the video’s you can find of him over the last eight months, he is solidly built. You can hop over to YouTube and search to see a bunch of his videos including “A Day in the Life” video similar to Michael Lorenzen’s before he was drafted. It’s a directed video meant to incite some buzz, but you get to see them in daily life.
Now, when you watch his videos (personally, before I write a review of a prospect, I watch every video I can find from the previous year and see them live if possible – full disclosure, I have never seen Rodgers live), two things come out immediately. First, he is smooth. All of his movement in the field and in the box are smooth. He has very little wasted motion. That plays well at shortstop and make improving as a hitter much easier. Second, he is quick to the ball and his bat is in the zone for a long time.
The SI.com mock has him going 3rd to the Rockies. Fangraphs mock draft 2.0 and Bleacher Report’s Justin Hussong have him at #2 to the Astros. I won’t predict until this Friday when I release my 43-pick mock draft (covering the Diamondbacks’ first two picks, #1 and #43), but I can tell you that he is a top five selection based on video.
I think it is a bit curious that SI.com has him going to the Rockies because from the time he sets his load until his follow-through, he just resembles Troy Tulowitzki to much. I have read a lot of comparisons to players like Javier Baez and Carlos Correa, but I see a player who is more advanced as a hitter than those two at the same age. I see no reason, body wise or technique wise that he couldn’t remain at shortstop, but his bat is what plays at the major league level. I truly did not see anything in his swing that worries me for the future.
Now, the two questions are, can the Diamondbacks afford him (are they willing?) and is he willing to forgo his commitment to Florida State to sign to a major league club? I believe the answer to both is yes. After the Mark Appel and Brady Aiken debacles over the last couple years, I don’t foresee any kid drafted in the top few picks taking a chance with injuries and giving up that pay day unless they just have bad advice and the team that drafted them are only willing to pay a substantial amount less than the predicted slot bonus for that pick (or they are Mark Prior and refuse to play for the Yankees).
In sum, I see no reason to doubt Brendan Rodgers can become a legit major-leaguer with some seasoning. I have found no worries about his character and he is from a baseball hotbed in Florida. Even if no one predicts him at #1 to the Diamondbacks, if he ended up being the pick, I do not believe there to be any worry. In fact, he looks the part like Manny Machado did where he could come up sooner rather than later and learn at the major league level while producing at least league average at the plate.
See you tomorrow with the next prospect. Also, don’t forget to take a look at the other top prospect reviews by my colleagues via the links to the right.