Twins Dream Big On Dereck Rodriguez, Son Of Ivan





MINNEAPOLIS—A member of the Twins' scouting staff called Ivan Rodriguez, the 14-time all-star catcher now with the Nationals, a day before the draft to let him know that Minnesota planned to take his son Dereck Rodriguez early on the draft's second day.

Proud and overjoyed, Pudge shared the news with his teammates, with his family—with everybody but his son.

"I wanted him to enjoy the moment," Rodriguez said after the Twins used their sixth-round pick to select the Pace (Fla.) High center fielder, born Ivan Jr. in 1992 during Senior's second year in the big leagues.

A wiry athlete, the 19-year-old Rodriguez is a do-everything speedster who has plus potential both offensively and defensively. "He's a five-tool guy," director of player personnel Mike Radcliff said. "Six tools, actually."

That's because Rodriguez also has the ability to pitch. At Pace he played the outfield for eight innings and then served as the team's closer in the ninth. Twins scouts have clocked Rodriguez's fastball at 95 mph.

He'll likely give up pitching once he signs. The Twins will start Rodriguez in center and see him as a future corner outfielder with gap power and perhaps more as he matures.

"He's got a totally different body than his dad," scouting director Deron Johnson said. "He's a lean kid right now. But he's got really good tools—raw power, and he's a solid runner. We really like his bat."

Rodriguez had committed to Santa Fe (Fla.) CC in Gainesville, but his father doesn't expect the teenager to be difficult for the Twins to sign. He couldn't hide his excitement over Dereck's future.

"It's been a dream for him ever since I put a glove on his hand," Rodriguez said. "Hopefully, he can be in Fort Myers (at the Twins' training complex) soon. It's time to play ball."

TWIN KILLINGS

• Promoted to Double-A New Britain, middle infielder Brian Dozier recorded a hit in each of his first three games with the Rock Cats. He was hit in the nose by a pitch in the third game, however, breaking a bone and forcing him out of action for at least a week.

• High Class A outfielder Angel Morales, the Twins' third-round pick in the 2007, had Tommy John surgery on his right elbow and will miss the entire season and probably part of 2012 as well.