Baltimore Orioles: Mike Elias Brings In Another Familiar Face
The Baltimore Orioles have signed RHP Brady Rodgers to a minor league contract.
While the Baltimore Orioles could still potentially add one more major league free agent before the end of the offseason, the final remaining days of winter will largely consist of adding minor league depth and arms to compete in spring training.
Earlier today, Baltimore Orioles beat writers confirmed two minor league signings in catcher Taylor Davis and RHP Brady Rodgers. We discussed the Davis signing this morning (read that story here), but let’s take a look at Rodgers, the newest Orioles pitcher and former Houston Astros draft. pick.
Orioles general manager Mike Elias is already familiar with Rodgers, having been with the organization when the Astros used a third-round pick on Rodgers back in 2012. A former Top 30 prospect with the Astros, Rodgers went 4-0 with a 3.83 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, and a .253 average against in 10 appearances for the Round Rock Express, the Triple-A affiliate of the Astros.
Rodgers also tossed five innings at the major league level, giving up nine earned runs on seven hits (four home runs), while striking out four and walking three.
Rodgers, 29, underwent Tommy John surgery in early 2017 and has logged just over 110 innings since, but scouting reports on Rodgers before his surgery paint a positive picture. Here’s what Fangraphs had to say about him, ranked as the 18th-best prospect in the Astros system at the time.
“Rodgers doesn’t have big stuff, but is a safe bet for a fifth-starter job, perhaps as soon as this season. Everything in his repertoire is around average, with his fastball working 88-93. He has very good command, which one Astros source emphasized was even better than his walks indicated — an impressive statement given his minuscule 25 walks in 115.2 Triple-A innings last season.”
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Despite the lack of an electric fastball he can use to blow past hitters, every scouting report and write-up on Rodgers notes his plus-control and impressive walk rates. Over the course of 686 minor league innings, he’s issued just 132 free passes.
His extremely low walk totals date all the way back to his college days at Arizona State as Rodgers walked 35 in 271 innings, allowing just seven home runs in the process.
Spring training invitations haven’t been announced yet, but I fully expect both Davis and Rodgers in Sarasota when pitchers and catchers report on February 11th. Rodgers will join a long list of pitchers battling for at least two starting rotation spots.