- Full name Sean John Rodríguez
- Born 04/26/1985 in Miami, FL
- Profile Ht.: 6'0" / Wt.: 199 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School G. Holmes Braddock
- Debut 04/19/2008
Drafted in the 3rd round (90th overall) by the Los Angeles Angels in 2003 (signed for $400,000).
View Draft ReportRelegated to center field by Robert Valido at Coral Park High, Rodriguez transferred to Braddock last winter so he'd get the opportunity to play shortstop. He has the arm, hands and actions for the position, though some scouts wonder if he's more of a second baseman on the pro level. Others think he'd make a fine catcher. His line-drive swing should make him an above-average offensive performer at any of the three positions. Rodriguez' instincts are outstanding, no surprise considering that his father Johnny manages in the Marlins system and his brother Robert plays in the Expos organization. He'll have to compete with Valido again if both follow through on their commitments to Florida International, though both are expected to sign as third- or fourth-round selections.
Organization Prospect Rankings
Rodriguez followed up his breakout 2006 with a solid if inconsistent season in Double-A. The son of longtime Marlins minor league coach Johnny Rodriguez, Sean grew up around the game, watching his dad throw batting practice to Alex Rodriguez (no relation). Los Angeles added him to its 40-man roster in November despite his tepid Arizona Fall League showing. Rodriguez has good tools across the board that play up because of his inherent feel for the game. He has above-average bat speed that produces plus raw power with a quick, whippy swing. He uses the entire field and is beginning to make adjustments effectively. He has solid-average hands and a plus arm, with a solid first step that helps him make up for fringy range up the middle. A below-average runner with a bulky build, Rodriguez lacks strong defensive fundamentals and is expected to move to second base, where he could become an average defender. He swings and misses too often and chases fastballs behind in the count. The Angels would like to see him become more consistent, which starts with improving his plate discipline. A November addition to the 40-man roster, Rodriguez is expected to spend most of 2008 at second base in Triple-A. Because of his bat, he profiles as a reliable utiltyman with some punch, and he could play his way into an everyday role if he reduces his empty swings.
Rodriguez' bat speed stood out among a thin crop of East Coast prep hitters in 2003 when he signed for $400,000. Rodriguez hit a career-high 29 homers while playing almost solely at shortstop for the first time as a pro. He led the minors in total bases (291) and was the Angels' organization player of the year in 2006. The son of Marlins minor league coach Johnny Rodriguez, he honed his swing as a kid after watching his dad throw batting practice to Alex Rodriguez (no relation). Sean's days of emulating A-Rod are over, as he has overhauled his approach at the plate. He has all but eliminated his leg kick and is more upright in his setup. It's a little unorthodox, but it improved his balance. He still shows plus bat speed with above-average power to all fields. He's an instinctual player with soft hands and plus arm strength. Rodriguez chases pitches out of the zone too often and set a career high for strikeouts in 2006. He has a feel for hitting, though he may not be as good as his numbers suggest--he hit .342 with 16 homers in 61 games at the launching pad that is Rancho Cucamonga's Epicenter. His thick frame and below-average speed eventually will move him off shortstop, probably to second base. Ticketed for Double-A in 2007, Rodriguez could become an everyday big leaguer who hits .270 with 20 homers. He has played second base, third base and the outfield, so at worst he should become an offensive-minded utilityman.
Rodriguez transferred from Coral Park High to Braddock High in South Florida prior to his senior season when he was shifted from shortstop to center field to make room for Robert Valido, a fourth-round pick by the White Sox in 2003. The Angels popped Rodriguez in the third round and signed him for $400,000. His best tool is his plus arm, but between the organization's depth at shortstop and Rodriguez' lack of pure shortstop actions, he won't play there much longer. His arm, solid glove and instincts--honed by his father Johnny, a minor league batting coach in the Marlins system--would play in center field, at second base and perhaps best behind the plate. Rodriguez lacks confidence at the plate and hasn't performed well against good pitching since signing. He generates good bat speed thanks to his strong wrists, but he changes his approach from at-bat to at-bat. He has an eye for drawing walks, but he can improve his pitch recognition. He strikes out too much for a player with modest power, average speed and good baserunning instincts. Rodriguez' makeup and versatility bode well for his future, though he may repeat low Class A to start 2006.
Playing in a system loaded with premium shortstop prospects, Rodriguez managed to improve his standing with a solid all-around 2004 season. He held his own for three months as a teenager in low Class A before scorching the Rookie-level Pioneer League for the rest of the summer. He was league MVP and led Provo to the championship with his bat, defensive versatility and makeup. Much like Casey Kotchman, Rodriguez shows a feel for the game you'd expect from someone who comes from a baseball family. His father Johnny is a minor league hitting coach for the Marlins, while his brother Robert catches in the Nationals organization. Rodriguez' tools play up because of his feel for the game. He has advanced plate discipline for his age, and his production should improve once he learns to use the entire field. He's aggressive and has a tendency to get pull-happy, especially after he hits home runs. Rodriguez is a fringe-average runner, which has led to questions about his future defensive home. His arm plays well and he gets to his share of balls at shortstop, though his range is better up the middle than to his right. Realistically, with Orlando Cabrera signed to a four-year contract in the majors and Erick Aybar and Brandon Wood ahead of him in the minors, Rodriguez will find another position. In deference to Wood when they were teammates at Cedar Rapids, Rodriguez saw time at second base, third base and the outfield. He'll likely return there to open 2005. The Angels will continue to develop his skills at shortstop for now, but a move to second base is likely in the near future.
Rodriguez transferred from Coral Park (Fla.) High prior to his senior season when he was shifted to center field because of shortstop Robert Valido, who became a fourth-round pick of the White Sox last June. Both shunned commitments to Florida International to sign, with Rodriguez getting $400,000 as a third-round pick. His father John managers in the Marlins system, while his brother Robert is a minor league catcher for the Expos. Rodriguez was regarded as one of the most polished high school players in the draft, but the Angels won't rush him. A polished hitter with four strong tools, he's a versatile infielder in the class of Placido Polanco. Rodriguez has a quick bat and projects to hit for solid power to the gaps. He displays good natural actions at shortstop, but probably will shift to second base because he lacks speed and quickness. Equipped with a plus arm, he also profiles as a catcher. With Howie Kendrick playing second base every day in low Class A, Rodriguez is expected to start 2004 in Provo after time in extended spring training. Of course, his bat could hasten things.
Minor League Top Prospects
A key component in Salt Lake's historic 23-2 run to start the season, Rodriguez slugged .567 in April and earned a ticket to the big leagues. He returned to Salt Lake in mid-June and proceeded to put up a scalding hot month of July, hitting .340/.398/.738 with 10 home runs and 26 RBIs. Rodriguez packs a lot of power in his stocky 6-foot-1, 215-pound frame. Opposing mangers praised his toughness at the plate, his ability to foul off good pitches and always be a difficult out. He was more consistent and disciplined at the plate than he had been in the past. Though he has below-average speed, Rodriguez has enough range to play second base and has developed into a reliable defender, committing just four errors in 66 games with the Bees. He has played every position but pitcher, catcher and first base as a pro, and could become an offensive-minded regular who shuttles among several spots, in the mold of Tony Phillips. "We didn't expect the ball to come off his bat like it does," Tacoma manager Darren Brown said. "He looks like he's going to be a good player both defensively and offensively."
Rodriguez doesn't offer one overwhelming tool, but his overall package and strong baseball instincts should make him an effective big leaguer. His offensive numbers dipped from 2006, when he led the minors with 291 total bases, but he was still selected as the league's all-star shortstop. Power is probably Rodriguez' best tool, as he shows the ability to drive the ball to all fields and could hit 20-25 homers per year in the majors. Some observers think he would be better served shortening his swing and being more of a doubles hitter, however. Though he has a good swing and balance at the plate, he led the league with 132 whiffs, in part because of poor strike-zone recognition. Rodriguez has been a shortstop so far in his career and shows good defensive actions, but his below-average speed and big frame, as well as organization depth, could push him to second base or the outfield. He'll probably end up as a utility player.
Rodriguez hit much better in his second full season in Class A ball than he did in the Midwest League in 2005, when he hit .250/.371/.422 with 14 homers in 124 games. He came out of the gates on fire this year, batting .388 in April, and hit for power all season long, including a late-season promotion to Double-A Rodriguez has at least average power, particularly to left field, though he hit a number of home runs to right-center this year as well. He strikes out a lot and needs to learn the zone better. He also has an upright stance and a long swing path, but it works fairly well for him. The major question with Rodriguez is where he'll play. Despite a very strong arm, most scouts and managers agree that Rodriguez doesn't profile as an everyday shortstop, thanks to his thick, mature body and erratic actions. He played some second base, third base and center field at Cedar Rapids in 2005, showing enough instincts to handle any of those positions on a fill-in basis, though his below-average speed makes him an unlikely center fielder. Rodriguez' versatility might be his best asset, and he could be a big league utility player with some pop in his bat.
Rodriguez has solid all-around tools and an innate feel for the game, as might be expected from the son of a hitting coach in the Marlins system. He was named league MVP and was widely considered the most complete player in the PL. Rodriguez' patience was the best in the league and uncommonly advanced for a 19-year-old. He struggled at Class A Cedar Rapids, striking out 54 times in 196 at-bats, but prospered after joining Provo in late June. He should improve his production when he learns to use the entire field more frequently. His arm plays well at both positions on the left side of the infield and he gets to his share of balls at shortstop, though his range and speed aren't as good as fellow Angels shortstop prospects Erick Aybar, Alberto Callaspo and Brandon Wood. The Angels plan on working him out at catcher in instructional league, and they believe his athleticism and instincts will play well behind the plate.
A third-round pick in June, Rodriguez began his pro career shuttling among three infield positions. He found a home at shortstop after Wood was promoted to the Pioneer League. Rodriguez, whose father Johnny is a Marlins minor league coach, is capable of playing almost any position. His instincts were the equal of any high school player in this year's draft, and he saw time in center field this summer. He may even end up behind the plate in the future. His bat will help determine his role. For the Angels, he hit third and showed gap power.
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Infield Arm in the Los Angeles Angels in 2008
- Rated Best Strike-Zone Discipline in the Los Angeles Angels in 2006