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A few days ago, I’d mentioned that José Rodríguez finally started to pick up his production in Double-A in June, but I’d only covered his hitting. That’s still going strong, as he picked up another three-hit game on Saturday to raise his average to .400 over his last 60 games (30-for-75).
He also stole three bases, which continues a reversal of his fortunes in that department last year.
One of the few concerns I had about his prospect profile was the diminishing returns of his speed as he climbed from level to level last year:
- Kannapolis: 20 SB, 5 CS over 78 games
- Winston-Salem: 10 SB, 5 CS over 29 games
- Birmingham: 0 SB, 1 CS over six games
It could’ve very well been the grind of a 113-game season, which would’ve been understandable considering he entered the 2021 season with 104 games of total pro experience. But we also saw Nick Madrigal face the same trend, and it turned out when he reached Chicago that he just wasn’t that fast. He just hustled his way into more success against lesser competition, and I could see Rodríguez wrestling with the increased degree of difficulty just the same.
Instead, he’s 24-for-30 over just 65 games in Birmingham, so he’s quelled those concerns for the time being.
Now, if you’re going to try to poke holes in this performance, you can note that the Southern League is already closing in on its previous year’s stolen base total in about half a season.
- 2022: 636 SB, 219 CS over 568 games
- 2021: 679 SB, 299 CS over 902 G
My guess is that this is a byproduct of the pitch clock, in that pitchers who are slow to the plate lose perhaps their biggest weapon: the ability to vary timing in part by taking forever to throw the ball. It’s hard to do a straight year-to-year comparison for other teams because COVID-19 limited schedules and opponent selections last year, but the compact nature of the Southern League (Double-A South in 2021) makes that trend a little easier to follow with confidence.
- Lenyn Sosa went 1-for-4.
- Eloy Jiménez was 2-for-4.
- Carlos Pérez, 1-for-3 with a walk.
- Yolbert Sánchez went 0-for-3 with a walk.
- José Rodríguez was 3-for-5 with a triple and three stolen bases.
- Yoelqui Céspedes went 1-for-5 with two strikeouts and a stolen base.
- Sean Burke: 3.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 6 K
- James Beard doubled, walked, struck out twice and stole a base.
- DJ Gladney went 0-for-3 with a sac fly and two strikeouts.
- Wilfred Veras went 1-for-4 with a stolen base and a strikeout.
- Jared Kelley: 4 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 3 K, 35 of 61 pitches for strikes.
- Five Dodgers pitchers combined to throw a perfect game with 13 strikeouts.
- Carlos Hinestroza: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 0 K
- Guillermo Rodriguez went 0-for-5 with two strikeouts.
- Erick Hernandez was 0-for-2 with a strikeout.
- Loidel Chapelli homered, singled twice, stole a base and got plunked.
- Carlos Jimenez homered, doubled and struck out twice.
- Leandro Alsinois went 1-for-3 with his first homer and a walk.