Rodriguez, 16, is currently ranked as the ninth best prospect for the 2018-19 international signing period by MLB.com. Here is a snippet of their scouting report:
The right-hander’s fastball has been clocked at 97 mph and the pitch usually hovers in the low to mid-90s. There is some concern about a drop in velocity at times, but evaluators attribute the decrease to normal fatigue or being overworked on the showcase circuit. A strike-thrower, Rodriguez has a good mound presence and demeanor. He changes his arm slot and throws several different pitches at different angles, which has proven to be both a blessing and a curse as far as scouts are concerned.
Evaluators love his “big arm,” but the club that signs him might ask the teenager to refine his approach and focus on only three pitches. He has an unorthodox — sometimes described as a ‘violent” — delivery, but it has not impacted his pitchability.
In addition to Rodriguez, the Yankees have already been connected to Dominican catchers Antonio Gomez and Agustin Ramirez, Dominican outfielder Kevin Alcantara, and Cuban righty Denny Larrondo for the 2018-19 signing period. For what it’s worth, Badler says Rodriguez and Alcantara are expected to receive bonuses north of $1M.
The signing period opens July 2nd and the Yankees have already made one minor trade to add to their $4,983,500 bonus pool. They can max their bonus pool out at $8,721,125. The big question: Can the Yankees afford Rodriguez, Alcantara et al., and stud Cuban outfielder Victor Victor? The Yankees have the smallest international bonus pool due to their market size, meaning other clubs have more money to offer, in some cases significantly more. Winning a bidding war for Victor² won’t be easy.
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