Astros Minor League Review: ValleyCats RHP Brady Rodgers

Brady Rodgers got off to a great start to his professional career going 7-2 with a 2.89 ERA in 62.1 innings for the ValleyCats.

The Astros selected Brady Rodgers in the third round of this year's draft from Arizona State University. Rodgers had an outstanding college career and capped it off by going 10-3 with a 2.27 ERA in 115 innings pitched for ASU in his junior sesaon. Rodgers is known as a control guy who has a four-pitch arsenal that he is able to throw in any count. He's not an overpowering guy as his fastball usually sits in the 89-90 MPH range and tops out at 92. At 6'2" 187 he's not really a projectable righty so he will have to rely on his command as he advances through the system. With that being said let's take a look at how Rodgers did in his introduction to pro-ball this year.

Rodgers had a great season with the Tri-City ValleyCats and went 7-2 with a 2.89 ERA in 62.1 innings pitched. Those 62.1 innings were in addition to the 115 innings he logged at Arizona State prior to the draft putting him at 177.1 total innings pitched in 2012. Even though his FIP was higher than his ERA it was still a solid 3.34. His control came as advertised and he only allowed 1.59 walks per nine innings with the ValleyCats, He also averaged 7.07 strikeouts per nine innings for a very nice 4.45 K/BB ratio. He doesn't necessarily have a heavy fastbalbut the pitch reportedly has a little late sink to it. That coupled with his above average control of his four-pitch arsenal led to him posting a groundball percentage of 51.50%.

Rodgers had a great month in June and posted a FIP of 1.13 before falling off of that pace and posted a 3.74 FP in July and a 3.77 FIP in August. His best game on the year came on the 6th of August against the Mahoning Valley Scrappers where he pitched in six innings and only allowed one earned run on five hits and no walks while striking out eight.

Splits wise Rodgers was pretty effective against both right-handed hitters and left-handed hitters though he was slightly more effective against righties. Lefties hit .207/.260/.326 against him while righties hit .279/.308/.388 against him though he possessed a 3.94 FIP against left-handed hitters versus a 2.96 FIP against right-handed hitters in a small sample size. His batting average on balls in play was only .232 against lefties but was a much higher .328 against righties.

Overall it was a solid season for Brady Rodgers and his performance was in line with his scouting reports. He struck out batters slightly below the NYPL clip, but also walked nearly 1.7 batters per nine innings less than the league average. He allowed 8.66 hits per nine innings, but with the impressive walk rate still posted a WHIP of 1.19 which was better than the league average of 1.36. As an advanced college pitcher with good control Rodgers should be able to breeze through A-ball relatively easy next season and should face more of a challenge when he faces the more disciplined hitters at the upper levels.

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