- Full name Aderlin Rodríguez
- Born 11/18/1991 in Santo Domingo Centro, Dominican Republic
- Profile Ht.: 6'3" / Wt.: 210 / Bats: R / Throws: R
Organization Prospect Rankings
The Mets ponied up $600,000 to sign Rodriguez in 2008, but he hasn't lived up to the price tag or made it out of Class A yet. Only older college players like Cory Vaughn and Zach Lutz can challenge the 21-year-old Rodriguez's raw power among Mets farmhands, however, so that's why he's still worth monitoring. A year after bashing 17 home runs at Savannah, he hit 16 in 83 games there in 2012, then added eight more for St. Lucie to give him an organization-best 24 on the year. Getting to that raw power can be a challenge for Rodriguez, who sometimes goes to the plate seemingly determined to swing at the first pitch no matter what. He likes to jerk the inside pitch to left field, so he struggles against lefties who can locate away, batting .210/.252/.387 against southpaws last season. Though he has the best infield arm in the system, Rodriguez's thick lower half, bottom-of-the-scale speed and general inefficiency (.897 fielding percentage) portend a shift to first base, and that's where New York had him focus his attention in instructional league. He wasn't added to the 40-man roster or taken in the Rule 5 draft, so he'll likely be St. Lucie's first baseman in 2013.
In the five years the Mets have affiliated with Savannah, no player can match the 17 homers Rodriguez hit last year for the Sand Gnats, and he belted two more in the playoffs as they advanced to the finals. But after he hit .312 in Rookie ball in 2010, Rodriguez's average dropped 91 points in low Class A as he made few adjustments to the way pitchers attacked him. Looking to pull the ball almost exclusively, he often crushes middle-in fastballs for plus-plus power but is vulnerable to pitches in any other region of the strike zone. With a wide stance and no stride, Rodriguez has sound balance and basic-pitch recognition skills, lending hope that he can one day recover his feel for hitting. With heavy feet and a mature body, he's a 20 runner on the 20-80 scouting scale whose stiff infield actions leave plenty of doubt as to whether he can stick at third base. He has necessary arm strength for the position, but he committed 44 errors in 127 games last season. Scouts see a move to first base in Rodriguez's future. He's still only 20, so he has ample time to make adjustments.
After signing for $600,000 in 2008, Rodriguez missed a large chunk of his 2009 pro debut with a wrist injury. He showcased impressive hitting tools last season in the Appalachian League, finishing third in homers (13), RBIs (48) and extra-base hits (35). Rodriguez has more raw power than any player in the system and could mature into a 25-30 homer threat. His wrists are strong and quick, producing elite bat speed. With strong pitch-recognition skills and barrel awareness, he could hit for average as well. The catch is that Rodriguez is a poor runner with a thick lower half and heavy feet who may have to shift to first base. He has a strong arm and moves his feet well for his size, but his hands are hard and he simply might outgrow the hot corner. Some scouts believe Rodriguez could be playable at third if he takes care of his body and proves willing to put in the work on defense. He drew criticism in the Appy League for uneven effort and lack of hustle, getting benched on at least two occasions. The Mets promoted Rodriguez to low Class A Savannah for the final week of 2010, and he'll spend this year there as a teenager. If Wilmer Flores has to play third base, he'll be an obstacle for Rodriguez in the future.
The Mets' top international addition in 2008 with a signing bonus of $600,000, Rodriguez is director of international scouting Ismael Cruz's latest find. Rodriguez primarily is a hitter. Third base is a work in progress for the raw fielder, though his showing there was not as bad as had been feared. He has a big frame, having substantially added to his size even from the time the Mets signed him until he began participating in the instructional league. Mets officials are excited about Rodriguez's potential to hit for power, though his swing has a tendency to get a little long and pull-happy--traits attributed to his youth. When he's on, Rodriguez can go to right-center with the best of the Mets' prospects. He has below-average speed, and there's concern he could get too big size-wise for third base. While at this early age the Mets hope Rodriguez can remain there, moving to first base or left field may be in his future. Assuming he follows in the tracks of Jefry Marte and Cesar Puello, the Mets' top Dominican signings from 2007, Rodriguez could find himself in the Gulf Coast League to open 2009.
Minor League Top Prospects
In the international signing frenzy of 2008, Rodriguez's $600,000 bonus ranked just 17th-highest, tied with Perez. A wrist injury limited him in his 2009 debut, but he showed impressive bat speed and power this summer, finishing third in the league behind Arcia and Morla in homers (13), RBIs (48) and extra-base hits (35). Rodriguez lacks the defensive profile of that duo, however, with a thick lower half and heavy feet. He's a below-average runner with hard hands, so he figures to migrate to first base or left field despite having plus arm strength. On the plus side, Rodriguez is younger and strikes out much less frequently than Arcia or Morla. "He has a good eye for the zone. He's not a free swinger," Santo Domingo said. "I was impressed by his approach at the plate and his pitch recognition." Rodriguez did draw criticism--and benchings--for uneven effort and lack of hustle. He'll go as far as his bat takes him.
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Infield Arm in the New York Mets in 2014
- Rated Best Infield Arm in the New York Mets in 2013
- Rated Best Power Hitter in the New York Mets in 2013
- Rated Best Infield Arm in the New York Mets in 2012
- Rated Best Power Hitter in the New York Mets in 2011