Elvin Rodriguez held his own in the hitter-friendly Pioneer League this season, earning an All-Star selection before being promoted to Class A Burlington as a 19-year-old. Now he's on his way to a new organization.
The Angels' No. 22 prospect was acquired by the Tigers on Friday as the player to be named in the Aug. 31 trade that sent four-time All-Star outfielder Justin Upton to the Angels for Tigers No. 15 prospect Grayson Long.
Signed out of the Dominican Republic as a 16-year-old in 2014, Rodriguez went 0-6 with a 4.59 ERA in 12 appearances, including 11 starts, in the Rookie-level DSL in 2015. He improved the following season, going 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA over 30 innings before coming stateside to pitch in the Rookie-level Arizona League.
He went 2-2 with a 1.57 ERA over 28 innings to finish out the year before starting this season with Rookie-level Orem, where his 2.50 ERA led the circuit before his promotion to full-season ball. Midwest League batters hit .345 against him in 14 innings with Burlington, but he struck out 12 while talking three after fanning 11 free passes in the Arizona League.
The 6-foot-3, 160-pound right-hander throws a fastball that sits in the high 80s with late life and his command is far ahead of most teenage pitchers. He combines a repeatable delivery with good feel for his curveball and changeup but will need to get stronger to reach his full potential.