Catcher Arturo Rodriguez Signed by Marlins out of Mexican League

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The Miami Marlins made a what could be a a very nice signing on Friday, signing catcher Arturo Rodriguez (article in Spanish) out of the Mexican League. Just 23-years old, Rodriguez has displayed his talent at the highest level in the country of Mexico. Rodriguez will report to the Marlins Class A advanced team, the Jupiter Hammerheads.

"(Translated)Arturo Rodriguez signs the contract that binds to Miami Marlins, notary public, the board of Club Sultans, represented by Roberto Magdaleno, and family receptor, the capital of Nuevo Leon, Wednesday evening January 7."

In 2014, Arturo Rodriguez slashed .373/.414/.611 and hit 15 long balls in 359 plate appearances with a 161 wRC+. Rodriguez finished third in batting average, fifth in slugging percentage, and sixth in OPS (1.025). Despite the .373 average, which came on a .408 BABIP, Rodriguez did not place in the top 10 in the league with his .414 on base percentage. That’s mainly because he had an unimpressive 5.7% walk rate.

Before last years breakout season, Rodriguez slashed .279/.344/.431 with 6 home runs in 231 plate appearances with a 91 wRC+. His BABIP that season was .319.

I could not find a ton of information on Rodriguez on the Internet, but I did stumble upon a site, Not Another Baseball Blog, that did talk about Arturo Rodriguez and his talent back in July:

"Looking at what’s been going on the Mexican League, at least in terms of who the league’s leaders are, I noticed a 22 year old catcher playing for the Toros de Tijuana (the Tijuana Bulls) named Arturo Rodriguez. Rodriguez is currently third in the league with a .371 batting average, and his 1.033 OPS is fifth best behind four well-over-30 foreign (to Mexico) veteran professionals of the type who usually dominate the Mexican League’s OPS leader board.I know very little about his defense, although he has apparently thrown out 17 of 41 attempted base-stealers this season, a 41% rate, which is pretty good. However, he’s also played a lot of games at 1B and as a designated hitter this season, suggesting either that his defense isn’t great or the Toros are afraid he’ll get worn down or hurt playing catcher every day.Rodriguez doesn’t walk much, and he’s listed as 6’0″ and 235 lbs and has yet to steal a base as a professional, so he’s probably pretty slow. He looks like a great plate-blocking catcher in an era when plate-blocking is much more restricted than it used to be."

Also mentioned in the blog is that Mexican League team don’t normally allow their players to be signed away by MLB teams, unless there is a decent pay day. He estimates it would take a 7-figure contract to get Arturo Rodriguez to be signed by an MLB team. We have no details on the figures of the contract at the moment.

In the article I linked near the beginning about Arturo signing with the Marlins, the MiLB site mentions that Rodriguez is currently playing Winter Ball for Culiacan Tomateros as catcher, first baseman, third baseman and designated hitter.

With Jarrod Saltalamacchia signed through this season, Michael Morse and Martin Prado through the 2016 season, if Arturo Rodriguez develops like the Marlins wish, they could have a few positions open for the right hander to play at.

Update: Thanks to @PresidentLunchy for the video:

Next: Dan Haren to the Giants?

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