Catcher/Second Baseman/Outfielder Endy Rodriguez
Endy Rodriguez was the big story for the Pittsburgh Pirates minor league system this year. Rodriguez started the year at Greensboro and is now at Triple-A Indy. Despite 2022 being considered somewhat of a breakout year for Rodriguez, he had a high-quality 2021 season in which he had a .892 OPS, .410 wOBA, and 140 wRC+ for A-Ball Bradenton. But he’s only gotten better this season.
Rodriguez started the year out slow with an ice-cold April. After heating up in May, he returned to his 2021 self, having a .903 OPS, .404 wOBA, and 145 wRC+ from the start of May through the All-Star break. Those were pretty similar numbers from 2021, if not a slight uptick. However, Rodriguez went from great to Barry Bonds-level in the second half.
Since the outset of the second half, Rodriguez is slashing .390/.470/.747 with a .512 wOBA and 220 wRC+. He’s only struck out 29 times in 215 plate appearances and has drawn 28 walks. Despite having 155 fewer plate appearances than in 2021, he matched his home run total from last season in the second half of 2022 with 15 long balls. A 220 wRC+ in over 200 plate appearances is insane. According to FanGraphs, only seven players have ever put up a 220+ wRC+ in 200 or more plate appearances at the major league level.
Rodriguez has power, plate discipline, and a knack for making contact. He’s also considered a decent defender behind the dish, but he can play first base, left field, and has seen a decent amount of time at second base this year. The switch-hitter is now pushing to at least make his major league debut this year, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he received a promotion in the last week of 2022, ala Roansy Contreras and Oneil Cruz last season.