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School: Illinois State; Class: Junior
Position: RHP; B/T: R/R
Height: 6-2; Weight: 225 pounds
Previously Drafted: N/A
Background: Finally, a manager that gets it – unintentionally or not. After years of harping by the sabermetric community that a good starting pitcher is far more valuable than a great reliever, manager Mark Kingston did just what was supposed to be done: he moved Rhoades out the bullpen, where he starred as the team’s closer for a year-plus, and into the rotation this season. And, unsurprisingly, the results have been tremendous.
Rhoades, who’s appeared in 19 games, eight of which were starts, has been nothing short of dominant for the Redbirds: 76.2 innings, 92 K’s and 25 BB’s which is all wrapped up into tidy 2.35 ERA. If only Kingston could have a little chat with Oregon head coach George Horton about Jake Reed.
Projection: Sneaky upside here. A team will likely be tempted to push Rhoades back into the bullpen and fast track him to the big leagues, but, again, the real value comes from his spot in the rotation. Strong, strong control. The ability to miss bats jumped to a premium this season, despite having worked the majority of his innings out of the rotation. And similar numbers in the Cape last season: 21.1 IP, 19 K’s, and 8 BB’s.
You don’t have to squint too hard to see a potential fringe #3-type arm here.
Ceiling: 2.5- to 3.0-win player
Floor: 1.0-win player
Likelihood of Reaching His Ceiling: Low
Draft Projection: Second Round
Photo Courtesy of wjbc.com.