ENDY RODRIGUEZ, CATCHER
|Born: May 26, 2000
Signed: Int’l Free Agent, 2018 (Mets)
How Acquired: Trade (with Mets)
Country: Dominican Republic
WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE
|Rodriguez is an athletic catcher who also switch-hits. The athleticism has allowed him to see some time in the outfield, but it also gives him a high ceiling defensively behind the plate. He has a good arm and has thrown out 42% of base stealers so far. His hitting approach is advanced, although he may not hit for a great deal of power. The Pirates acquired him from the Mets in the three-team trade that sent Joe Musgrove to San Diego.
Rodriguez had a good debut in the DSL, starting 16 games behind the plate and 11 at first.
After nine games in the DSL, the Mets moved Rodriguez up to the GCL. He started 14 games behind the plate, one at first and eight in the outfield, and lost some time to a hamstring strain. He hit well, continuing to make good contact.
Rodriguez spent the season with Bradenton and had an outstanding year. He won the batting title and finished first in runs; second in OPS, slugging, doubles and RBIs; tied for third in home runs and triples; and fourth in OBP. He ended the season on a tear, with an OPS of 1.110 in August and .983 in September. Unlike most switch hitters, he hit better right-handed. There were other catchers with the Marauders who needed playing time, initially Eli Wilson and later Abrahan Gutierrez, so Rodriguez caught 54 games. He wasn’t as successful at throwing out base stealers as before, nailing only 17%. He played 18 at first and four in left. The versatility will serve him well given the Pirates’ drafting of Henry Davis.
Rodriguez had a huge season. He started slowly, with a .652 OPS in April, then hit well in May and June. Beginning in July, though, he was the best hitter anywhere in the minors. The Pirates promoted him twice and he responded each time by hitting still better. His worse OPS over the final three months was 1.136. He controlled the strike zone well and had almost no platoon split. Given their logjam of catching prospects in the mid-minors, the Pirates gave Rodriguez a lot of playing time elsewhere. He made 14 starts at second, 12 in left and three at first while he was at Greensboro. His defense behind the plate was so impressive, though, that they began keeping him there more. Other than three games at second and some at DH, he stayed at catcher once he moved up. He threw out 31% of base stealers.
Rodriguez will have to be added to the 40-man roster in the fall of 2022. He’s created a tough situation for the Pirates. Their catching situation in the majors was a fiasco in 2022 and Rodriguez looks ready to try the majors now. The current front office, though, is reluctant to call up prospects, and they’ll undoubtedly engage in service-time manipulation to save Bob Nutting some money. So Rodriguez could develop into a flashpoint for criticism of a front office that seems determined to avoid doing anything that might improve the team.
|2023: Minor League Contract|
|Signing Bonus: $10,000
MiLB Debut: 2018
MLB Debut: N/A
MiLB FA Eligible: 2024
MLB FA Eligible: N/A
Rule 5 Eligible: 2022
Added to 40-Man: N/A
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|July 2, 2018: Signed by the New York Mets as an international free agent.
January 18, 2021: Traded by the New York Mets to the Pittsburgh Pirates in a three-team trade; Hudson Head, Omar Cruz, David Bednar and Drake Fellows sent from the San Diego Padres to the Pittsburgh Pirates, Joey Lucchesi sent from the San Diego Padres to the New York Mets, and Joe Musgrove sent from the Pittsburgh Pirates to the San Diego Padres.