6'1" 160 lbs DOB: 3/2/1990
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.