Monday, February 1, 2010

Top 15 Pitchers: #11 Wilking Rodriguez

Wilking Rodriguez
6'1" 160 lbs DOB: 3/2/1990
Right-Handed Pitcher
Bats: Right | Throws: Right
2009: Princeton Rays
Acquired: Signed from Venezuela, February 2007

After two decent seasons in the Venezuelan Summer League, the Rays brought Wilking Rodriguez to the states where he emerged as one of the best arms in the Appalachian League.

Rodriguez managed just a 1-6 record, but he struck out nearly a batter per inning(8.4 per 9), showed advanced control(12 walks in 56 innings), and kept opponents off the bases for the most part(a WHIP of exactly 1.00). After his first two starts, his strikeout-to-walk ratio was 50 to 7 in 49 innings the rest of the season.

It isn't just his stats that have opened eyes. BaseballAmerica ranked him as the #3 prospect in the Appy League. Despite weighing only 160 pounds, he has a strong lower half that he incorporates into his delivery and helps him to crank his fastball into the mid-90s, sitting in the 92-93 range. He's also shown the makings of a plus curveball, but he sometimes goes to it too often. His change-up is very raw, but that's to be expected from a 19-year old.

I see some similarities to Alex Colome with Rodriguez. Colome is a little bit bigger but showed an equally live arm with Princeton. Rodriguez showed much better control with the P-Rays, but both had dismal records. And just as Colome broke out in his second pro season with Hudson Valley, Rodriguez looks to do the same. He'll get the bump to the New York-Penn League where he'll compete as a 20 year old. If he continues his development and learns the finer aspects of pitching, he could be the breakout star of 2010 for the Rays system.


  1. I like what I hear about him. He is young and has potential. Any chance he can get his fastball faster as he grows?

  2. Hudson Valley or Bowling Green?and higher ceiling, colome or wilkin>

  3. Wow higher on McEachren and Lobstein than this guy??

  4. He definitely has the potential to add to his fastball, but he's already throwing pretty hard.

    I would say Hudson Valley. His stuff might play in the Midwest League already, but he wouldn't pitch a full season either, given the increase in innings that would entail.

    Colome/Rodriguez higher ceiling... That's a tough one for sure. I'll take Colome by a hair. He's a little bigger, throws a little harder, and his curveball is a little better. Rodriguez has the better current control, however.

    As for Lobstein and McEachern, yeah, for now. Lobstein still offers some very nice projection from the left side(plus he finished the season hot) and McEachern's stats are just as good as Wilking, while McEachern did it a little younger and also had some time at Hudson Valley.

  5. I was lucky enough to see Colome pitch twice last year, and the ease with which he threw in the in the high 90's was striking. I am hoping to see him pitch again this year; do you think he'll go to Bowling Green or Charlotte next year?

  6. at 6-1 and 2160 pounds...he is a very large pitcher. HAha