Endy Rodriguez is the Pirates Prospects Minor League Player of the Year

In a unanimous vote, Endy Rodriguez has been named the Pirates Prospects Minor League Player of the Year for the 2022 season. The award goes to the best player in the system, regardless of whether that player is a hitter or a pitcher.

Rodriguez had an impressive season, starting in High-A Greensboro and ending up in Triple-A Indianapolis. Between his three levels, Rodriguez hit .323/.407/.590 in 531 plate appearances, with 25 home runs.

The Pirates had Rodriguez working at second base, left field, and first base at the start of the season, while being on the same team as 2021 first overall pick Henry Davis. After Davis moved up to Altoona, Rodriguez spent most of his time behind the plate, which coincided with his bat taking off.

From June through early August, Rodriguez hit for a 1.043 OPS in Greensboro, eventually getting the promotion to Double-A Altoona.

He didn’t stop hitting at the new level. In about six weeks in Altoona, Rodriguez posted a .356/.442/.678 line with eight home runs in 138 plate appearances.

If that wasn’t enough, Rodriguez moved up to Indianapolis for six games at the end of the season, going 10-for-22 with two doubles, a triple, and a home run.

Rodriguez reached another level of performance in the second half of the season, and his talent transcended whatever level the Pirates had him playing with. From July through the end of the year, he had a .377/.458/.723 line and 18 homers in 271 plate appearances. To put that in perspective, only six other hitters had 18 or more homers on the entire season.

The performance this year pushed Rodriguez into Top 100 prospect territory, but more importantly, has him looking like a serious candidate to compete with Davis over the catcher of the future.

2022 Minor League Player of the Year Voting

  1. Endy Rodriguez, C

2. Matt Gorski, OF

3. Blake Sabol, C

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Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.

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