Grayson Rodriguez | RHP
Rodriguez is an 18-year-old senior at Central Heights HS in Nacogdoches, Texas. It’s a relatively small school, with an enrollment of just over 300 inclusive of grades nine through twelve, and just two players have been drafted out of the school – Trey Haley in the 2nd round of the 2008 draft, and Dane Phillips in the 49th round of the 2009 draft (and he chose to go to college instead).
Checking in at 6’5″ and between 230 and 240 pounds, Rodriguez has the look of a Yankees pitcher. He’s a tall, thick, and imposing figure on the mound, and he has the powerful fastball to back that up, boasting a low-to-mid 90s two-seamer (and flirting with triple digits). Rodriguez’s primary off-speed weapon is a mid-70s curveball with tremendous break, but he also throws a low-80s slider that shows some promise. As is the case with most high school pitchers, his change-up falls somewhere between a work-in-progress and a show-me pitch, and his control is a step or two ahead of his command.
It’s worth noting here that Rodriguez re-dedicated himself to the sport over the winter, and reportedly swapped out a good bit of fat for muscle. In addition to showcasing far more athleticism than he had in the past, Rodriguez added a tick or two to his fastball, leading most every scouting outlet to note that he looks and performs like an entirely new pitcher.
Rodriguez has slowly but surely climbed the various draft rankings this spring, and is seemingly a lock for the first-round. His ranks include:
- 18th, as per Keith Law (subscription required)
- 22nd, as per MLB.com
- 24th, as per Baseball America (subscription required)
- 37th, as per FanGraphs
The Yankees pick 23rd, so there’s a decent chance that he’ll be available when they’re on the clock (though, Jim Callis could see him going as high as 10th). Rodriguez is committed to Texas A&M, which is a strong college program – but, considering his current stock, it seems as though he’s poised to earn a massive payday, so I’m sure that commitment will be tested.