Rodolfo Nolasco Making The Tiny Steps In Development

Take a look at the Bradenton Marauders’ record and it’d be easy to get discouraged, especially a year after they won the division title. Go even deeper and look at how some of the players are performing and it may led to even more disappointment.

But not all development is from success. As we are seeing with Bradenton, sometimes it’s about taking your lumps and learning from them, especially when looking at the bigger picture.

“The thing about baseball is you have to look over the long-term and watch how things start to progress in the right direction.” Bradenton Manager Jonathan Johnston told Pirates Prospects when discussing outfielder Rodolfo Nolasco.

That’s maybe one of the hardest things to do when it comes to looking at a baseball player, at any level. In a world of instant gratification, you want to see the immediate results. That’s not always how it goes in the lower levels.

You won’t get anywhere just briefly scanning through the Marauders box score right now. The team is off to a struggling start, and at face value, has been hard to find anyone standing too far out in the early goings.

Looking for instant success from Nolasco this season would have only led to disappointment. In 15 games during the month of April, the outfielder slashed .180/.231/.295 with just four extra-base hits. Even worse, Nolasco struggled to make contact, striking out 38.4% of the time he stepped to the plate.

Over half of his games, he struck out multiple times, and was drawing walks only 6.1% of the time.

More so than any other sport in North America, baseball represents a marathon as opposed to a sprint, and one month can’t be used to determine the outcome of a long season. Even with May over and done with, it may not be fair to make a fair assessment. It’s about seeing the little improvements over the course of the season when they can entire picture has a chance to be developed.

“The at-bats get better in almost small increments,” Johnston said. “There’s things you see happen that the guy is getting closer and closer to the results happening.”

Nolasco has some of the best raw power on the Bradenton roster, and it has shown in some of his metrics over the course of the season.

To get that power more often, Nolasco needs to make more consistent contact.

The month of May saw him take one of those small incremental improvements in his approach, something that his manager has taken notice of.

“His discipline at the plate, he’s getting into better positions to hit on time,” Johnston said. “He’s taking passes at the right pitches. A lot of times he’s just missing them.”

It showed last month, as Nolasco posted a .221 average in May, 41-points higher than his April mark. He also struck out 28.8% of the time, down 10 percentage points from his April rate.

Small incremental improvements.

“He knows it’s going in the right direction, and he feels the momentum,” said Johnston. “That’s the struggle, even though you don’t get the results, you have to be aware the process is working.”

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Adjusting and improving is all we can ask! If he can get the k rate down below 25% next month, everything else should jump up and his power will show


As the weather heats up, so will he.


Hoping his June is even better.


That would be nice. But he needs to make multiple changes. At least at this level the pitchers have limited capacity to adjust.

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