With all this talk of the Phillies signing 40+ and 30+ gentlemen, you may have forgotten what it was like to read about people with their whole lives ahead of them. Thankfully, Seedlings to Stars has continued its listing of the 100 best prospects in the game, and the Phillies seem to have registered another one in RHP Julio Rodriguez.
The important question about Julio Rodriguez is, “Will we default to calling him J-Rod?” The nicknames for people with this last name have been somewhat limited in the past few years, so its looking pretty grim for old J-Rod. Unless he does something truly distinct before his call-up, and earns a moniker worthy of remembering like some of the others in contemporary Philadelphia history, like “Rauuuuuuuuuuulll” and the word “Fuck” in another language.
This all depends on the value of Julio’s stuff. Is it flameballing? Devastatingly evasive? Try both. A low-90s fastball, a loopy curve, and a developing changeup give the 20-year-old an arsenal to pick from in Clearwater. Its kind of nice that he can be at least a mite versatile so that he’s not one of those prospects who comes up, dominates for a second, and then everybody learns how to hit the one pitch he throws well.
But, as usual, this isn’t a fairy tale. At least not yet. Julio’s velocity hasn’t stunned any scouts–so little that he is only #67 on the site’s list. Nate Stoltz, the author behind these rankings, warns that nobody should get too jazzed about Julio’s 14.4 K over nine innings last year. But we will anyway, so ignore that. He may need to work out some control issues, but who doesn’t? I’m 25 and I have immense trouble with self-control.
For a more accurate, less stupid version of analysis on J-Rod, check out the genuine article on StS.