(Bumped from FanPosts. --Eric)
Nineteen year old Mets prospect Aderlin Rodriguez is a kid who is very talented and has the potential of becoming a very talented hitter. At this time, Aderlin is pressing a bit, especially when he has two strikes. He has little to no athleticism and is playing a position that I doubt he'll ever field in the major leagues. During the weekend I saw him against Rome (3 of the 4 games of the series), he was 3 for 14 with 2 home runs, a double, a walk, a HBP, 2 strikeouts and 4 RBIs.
Defense: The good? He showcased a strong arm, much stronger than what I witnessed last season while he was playing for Kingsport. The Bad? Almost everything else. His strong arm lacks accuracy, especially when he is rushed. He actually made all the throws during game action but speaking with people who have seen him this year, he carries on the tradition of poor throwing Sand Gnat third baseman (See Jefry Marte). His movements at third base look unnatural as well. His reactions are average for the position; however, he is simply too flat footed to get to much outside the imediate area surrounding him. In the video I posted below, you'll see him slowly field a ball that eventually goes foul. He simply tumbles towards the baseball. <?p>
Running: Aderlin's speed is below average. It would be amusing to see Aderlin race Wilmer Flores in a 60 yard dash. I don't know who would win. My money would be on Wilmer going first to third since I think he's a much better baserunner than young Aderlin.
Batting: It's a relief to see a hitter without a complicated batting stance. One reason why I'm not as high on Cory Vaughn as others are in the Mets blogsphere is the moving parts in his batting stance (and the lack of speed I see in his bat). A buddy of mine, a Braves fan, remarked how Aderlin's stance reminds him of Andruw Jones a bit. It's a fairly quiet stance. Mike Newman at Scouting the Sally compared his swing to Florida Marlins Outfielder Mike Stanton.
I have no doubt that Aderlin has the bat speed to hit any fastball. His hands are crazy fast and I think his pitch recognition skills are excellent, especially for a Latin American hitter in the Sally. (A side note, most elite Latin American prospect don't normally see much good, live pitching until after they are signed. Scouts see them in controlled environments where a pitching machine acts as the pitcher.) With two strikes, he presses, trying to get a hit, rather than taking a walk. It's anxiousness. I think his struggles this year can be tied to anxiousness and putting unwarranted pressure on himself because of his status as the team's most prominent power hitting prospect.
What will make him a star is his ability to make even the toughest ballparks to hit home runs look small. The only players that I've seen who drove the ball better than Aderlin in the Sally are Jason Heyward, Mike Stanton and Bryce Harper. I don't think that Aderlin fits in that group of power hitters; however, I think he may be on the outside looking in at that group. During game action, I've seen him hit 3 home runs in 4 games over the past two seasons. The first clip in the video package is of Aderlin hitting a home run.
As the season goes along, I believe we'll see Aderlin improve dramatically. I don't think he's the hitter that is only walking 5% of the time. He, like most 19 year olds, is prone to swinging at the breaking ball in the dirt. The more pitches he sees, the least likely he'll swing at that pitch in the dirt, which he especially does with two strikes. It's pretty amazing that his batting average is up at .200 after the 3 weeks of disastrous play to start the season.
Aderlin Rodriguez 5-13-11 & 5-15-11 (via MetsgeekTV)
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