Throughout the 2018/2019 offseason, Marlin Maniac will devote one article each for every player who appeared in the Miami Marlins system for the 2018 season. Every. Single. Player. This is Part 157 of 286. For the first 100, click here.
Manuel Alexander Rodriguez just completed his fifth minor league season for the Miami Marlins. Prior to the 2018 campaign, he had never served above short-season-A. Last year, he had a 1.06 ERA at that level after debuting with the Greensboro Grasshoppers in the single-A South Atlantic League.
Rodriguez was born on December 23rd, 1996, and signed with the Miami Marlins through free agency on April 3rd, 2014. Two months later, he was pitching for the rookie-league DSL Marlins, in the Dominican Sumer League. Those Marlins went 27-43, and Rodriguez racked up a 1.887 WHIP in 20 2/3 innings. Even so, he was still just 17-years-old.
In 2015, Rodriguez spent another season with DSL, and improved his WHIP to 1.230 over a team-second 72 1/3 innings. He struck out 50, and went 6-5 with a 2.86 ERA for a 24-48 club. Rodriguez started 10 games and made six trips out of the bullpen.
2016 would see Rodriguez graduate to the slightly more advanced rookie-league team in the Florida-based Gulf Coast League, the 32-23 GCL Marlins. He ranked fifth on the club with 35 2/3 innings pitched, and struck out 23 over 12 appearances. His 1.542 WHIP ranked last on the team of pitchers who threw more than 18 innings.
In 2017, Rodriguez started his season with the short-season-A Batavia Muckdogs in the New York-Penn League. After nine appearances, he had a 9.00 ERA and a 1.824 WHIP over 17 innings, although he did push his strikeout rate to over one per inning, with 18. Something about Rodriguez’ game told management that he needed more work at the rookie level.
Back with GCL, Rodriguez dropped his WHIP down to 1.355 over 20 2/3 innings, with a 2.61 ERA and 15 K’s. After the season closed, the Miami Marlins sent him back to Batavia’s roster.
Rodriguez opened the 2018 season with the Grasshoppers, and struck out 23 in 25 innings of work through the first part of the season. He held opponents to a 1.600 WHIP and registered a 4.32 ERA, going 1-1 over 17 relief appearances. On April 25th, in the second game of a doubleheader against the Hickory Crawdads, Rodriguez earned a two-inning save, striking out one batter in a perfect outing for a 2-1 victory. He turned the trick again on May 19th, tossing another two perfect innings in a 3-0 loss to the Lakewood BlueClaws.
More from Marlins Prospects
- Miami Marlins: Checking in on prospects from the 2022 Arizona Fall League
- Miami Marlins: How top 2022 MLB Draft picks performed this season
- What’s wrong with Kahlil Watson?
- Miami Marlins: Farm System rankings part 2
- Miami Marlins: Farm System rankings part 1
On June 14th, Rodriguez rejoined the Muckdogs for the balance of the season. He got into 12 games, and never pitched less than three innings despite starting only four times. His best outing, without a doubt, was on July 17th in a 7-5, 10-inning win over the Williamsport Crosscutters. In that affair, Rodriguez pitched the fourth through the seventh without allowing a baserunner, extending a combined no-hit bid (with rookie Chris Vallimont) into the eighth. Rodriguez struck out five in the game.
While with Batavia, Rodriguez had a 39 2/3 inning scoreless streak from June 24th through August 19th, during which he struck out 35 batters and allowed a .188/230/.229 slashline.
Rodriguez has shuffled more up than down in his five minor league seasons, and is only now turning 22-years-old. A little work will see him with the high-A Jupiter Hammerheads in the Florida State League before the end of the season.
Thanks for reading. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to our daily newsletter to keep up with the Miami Marlins.