The Arizona Fall League, a fall baseball league founded in 1992 used for Major League Baseball’s top prospects to get in extra work during the off-season, announced its All-Star rosters.
Both the 20-year old Rodriguez and 22-year old Berry are out in Arizona pitching for the Surprise Saguaros who, coincidentally, happen to be managed by Bowie’s Gary Kendall. They are just two of four Baltimore pitchers on Surprise’s active roster ( Branden Kline and Jason Gurka are the others).
Rodriguez registered 25 starts between High-A Frederick and Double-A Bowie in 2013 (10-7, 3.41 ERA, 125 Ks over 145.0 IP). So far in the AFL this fall, the Major League hopeful has put in 11.2 innings of work and posted a 4.63 ERA over his four starts to earn the All-Star recognition.
In the AFL, Rodriguez has registered more ground balls (7) than anything else (9 line drives, 1 fly ball, 1 pop up), along with 12 strikeouts. His average fastball velocity in the AFL is hovering around 91.10 mph, which him touching 93.5 mph. His average change up velocity is sitting around 84.15 mph and his slider is sitting around 82.43 mph.
As for Berry, the 6’3” southpaw spent his entire 2013 campaign in High-A Frederick, where he put in 27 starts and posted a 3.85 ERA and 11-7 record. It was by far his best season in the minors since being taken in the 50th round of the 2009 MLB June Amateur Draft.
In the AFL, Berry has a 50% groundball rate with his average fastball velocity at 90.42 mph, change up velocity at 81.88 mph and average curveball velocity at 75.13 mph.
Both Rodriguez and Berry are poised for an even stronger 2014 campaign, and getting work in out west this off-season could help them take strides in making improvements this spring.
(Velocity information from MLBFarm.com)