In today’s look at the talent in Cuba, Don breaks down outfielder Omar Luis Rodríguez.
A few weeks ago, the Orioles ventured down to the Dominican Republic. Their eyes were on a batch of international talent that could inject some much needed youth into the system and improve the public perception that Dan Duquette is reaching beyond the US border to strengthen the ball club. Here’s a look at Omar Luis Rodríguez.
Omar Luis Rodríguez is a left handed pitcher that has been on scouts’ radars for some time. I watched him in the juniors in Canada against Nick Delmonico, Bubba Starling and a few other high round selections from the 2011 draft. He proceeded to show why he is a prospect in his own right, throwing a complete game winner while striking out team members of team USA in the Championship game.
Rodriguez is a big boy with a solid, strong lower half body that generates solid downhill force. His projection is not as high as some of his peers from other ranks, so the arsenal might show a tick improvement down the line. He starts out with a good fastball with solid movement, which runs 89-93 mph, but has touched 95 mph in junior national events. It has some nice late action that at least grades a tick above average.
He shows a workable spin that has some feel for a curve ball with solid instruction. Rodríguez’s change with the arm angle and the movement on the fastball gives some hope for a solid three pitch arsenal down the line. He does show a bit of effort, but it does not classified as “max”.
There are some slight refinements he could make to ensure he maintain his status as a starting pitcher, but nothing that goes into a reg flag category by any means. When watching him pitch under stressful conditions and immense pressure from his country, the kid showed a great deal of poise, which bodes well for his ability to handle pressure in bigger stages.