The Pittsburgh Pirates have put an emphasis on creating ‘positional flexibility’ throughout the system this year.
One of the player’s that come to mind immediately is Endy Rodriguez, whose athleticism has allowed him to move from behind the plate to multiple positions last year, including first base and left field.
Entering 2022 with Greensboro, Rodriguez looked to add another position to his repertoire: Second base.
“I’m trying to learn from my teammates who have played the position before,” Rodriguez told Pirates Prospects through a translator. “I’m trying to learn the little movement and set my feet in the right position and be in good position to catch the ball.”
Looking at the little bit of video available of Rodriguez at second base, you immediately see what he was talking about getting his feet set in the right position. His athleticism lets chase down the ball and get squared to it, that way he can make a strong throw.
You get a little bit of a mix of everything from Rodriguez in the video, including starting a double play, turning and throwing to first to complete one, and ranging to the other side of the bag and throwing a ball off-balance. While it one-hopped, he put it in front of first baseman Matt Gorski, who missed the ball and was given an error on the play.
On the season, Rodriguez has played 54 innings, and in 30 total chances has committed just two errors. He’s also been a part in four double plays, a couple of which are shown in the video.
Rodriguez said that of all of the positions he is currently playing, second base is the one he enjoys the most.
“Compared to catching, it’s easier to see the ball and make the routine play,” Rodriguez said of playing second base. “In the outfield, you don’t really know off the bat where the ball is going to go, whether it’s going to slice right or left.”
As a former catcher, it’s probably not a surprise he likes the position that keeps him involved in the game more.
“In the infield, you see the ball hit in the dirt, and I’m able to know where the ball is going to go, so I can set up my feet and be in a good position to catch the ball and make the play,” said Rodriguez.
With Henry Davis now in Altoona, Rodriguez’s focus will shift more back to catcher. In the limited time he spent at second base, he boosted the sentiment around the organization that he could handle the second base position.