My 1st look at Brendan Rodgers, SS, Asheville

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Courtesy of purplerow.com

I got my 1st look at the highly touted shortstop Brendan Rodgers last night.

Rodgers was drafted 3rd overall in the 2015 draft out of Lake Mary Fl (Orlando area) he’s 19, listed 6′ 180 lbs (I’d guess 5’11” 195+) bats and throws right.

He’s a stocky young man looks to be in excellent shape but I wasn’t expecting him to be so thick. Last year the big name to see for Asheville was Forrest Wall and he’s thin 6′ 170 I was kind of expecting a repeat of that.

I saw his batting practice, impressive bat speed the ball jumps off of his bat.  Rodgers has a natural up the middle and other way approach  (if he hit 30 balls in BP 24 went to right or center).  He had the same approach in the game, he lets the ball travel deep and hits the ball hard the other way.  His one hit last night was a double down the right field line.  This type of approach usually leads to high contact and good batting averages but can limit the power.  It will be interesting to see how often he turns on inside fastballs.  With the bat speed he generates I’m certain he’s got plus raw power.

In one particular at bat he did a nice job of staying alive, he got behind in the count and fouled off some tough pitches and worked an 8 pitch walk. He’s not overly aggressive, I would anticipate good walk and strikeout %.

He runs well, especially for his size probably more above average than plus though.

I was impressed with his shortstop play he displayed good hands, a strong arm and a very good 1st step. He saved a run last night ranging way to his right to keep a grounder on the infield.  The fact that he got that ball without having to dive was a real testament to hs 1st step.  It will be interesting to see how much he fills out.

Asheville is my home park so I will be getting a lot of looks at Rodgers. Exciting young prospect, the Rockies are lucky to have him.

Here we get some good looks at his swing and his 1st step courtesy of fangraphs

 

My tweets from last nights Tourists-Drive game

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Scouting David Hill RHP, Asheville

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David Hill courtesy of wccphotos.photoshelter.com

Yesterday 4/7 was opening day for minor league baseball and I took a run down to Fluor field in Greenville to see the Drive host the Asheville Tourists.  Both teams had some young talented players and I’ll be writing up a few guys who stood out.

For this piece I wanted to talk about Asheville starter David Hill.  Hill will turn 22 next month, he’s listed at 6’2″ 195 lbs and that looked accurate, he bats and throws right.  He was drafted by the Rockies in the 4th round of the 2015 out of the University of San Diego.

Hill stands on the extreme third base side of the rubber.  He’s got a 3/4 arm slot, a simple, repeatable delivery and he remains balanced throughout.  He’s athletic, a fast worker and showed quick feet on a very good pick off move.

Hill pitches off of his fastball.  It sits 92-94, I saw 95 once, the pitch seemed fairly straight but it seemed to get on hitters quicker than they anticipated.  He commands the pitch very well hitting all quadrants of the zone repeatedly. 55 pitch plays 60 because of the command.

Secondaries:

Hill threw a lot more change ups than curve balls.

Hill’s change up is thrown surprisingly hard 86-89 and most were on the high end.  There was some sink and he throws the pitch at the same arm speed.  He commands this pitch very well also and was able to hit both corners at will.  With so little separation between the fastball and change I wonder how this pitch will play at the higher levels.  Hitters will be sitting on the fastball and reacting to the change up.  When they’re 5 MPH apart a hitter can do both that’s why an 8-10 MPH separation is ideal. 55 pitch, probably plays less at the higher end of the speed spectrum.

He didn’t throw the curve much, in fact I only counted 3 of them all night. They had nice shape but I want to see more of the pitch before I grade it.  Asheville is my home park and I should see a lot of David Hill. I’ll finish this report after my next look.

Here’s a video of David Hill from Spring Training courtesy of Adam McInturff (On Twitter @WAdam_McInturff) Adam scouts for Baseball Prospectus.