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School: N.C. State; Class: Junior
Position: LHP; B/T: L/L
Height: 6-3; Weight: 234 pounds
Previously Drafted: Milwaukee Brewers, 16th round, 2011
Background: The awards list matches up with any in the history of college baseball, beginning with winning Louisville Slugger’s National Freshman of the Year in 2012 and more recently being named USA Baseball Player of the Year in 2013 to everything in between, including two All-ACC first team, Freshman All-America, All-America nominations.
Simply put, Rodon has been one of the best players since entering college.
Over his first two seasons, the dominate southpaw has averaged 11.62 K/9 and 3.13 BB/9 while totaling a minuscule 2.33 ERA. And his two summers with Team USA have been just as impressive – three earned runs in 36 innings of work
This year, however, Rodon, like his teammate and potential first round pick Trea Turner, has taken more of a lateral step instead of another expected leap forward. Through his first nine games, the big lefty has fanned 72 (10.29 K/9) and walked 21 (3.0 BB/9).
Projection: It’s a bit disconcerting – though not enough to force him out of the top spot as college baseball’s best prospect – that his production has declined from his phenomenal sophomore season, a fact that isn’t aided by some questionable handling by N.C. State’s coaching staff including his 134-pitch, 7.2 innings performance against Duke on April 11.
He’s been ridden rather hard for a developing pitcher, totaling 247 innings through his first two seasons (not including brief summer league action).
He is what he is, though – the best collegiate player available in this year’s draft, a potential front-of-the-rotation left arm with the rare ability to miss bats and limit free passes. Rodon’s a high ceiling/high floor-type prospect, who, barring any serious injury, should carve out a long, successful career alternating between spurts of dominance and enduring success.
He’s a legitimate #1/#2-type arm. Think along the lines of David Price.
Ceiling: 5.5– to 6.0-win player
Floor: 2.5- to 3.0-win player
Likelihood of Reaching His Ceiling: Moderate to Above-Average
Draft Projection: First Round
Photo Courtesy of uspresswire.com via wfmynews2.com.