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Pirates Prospects Daily: Endy Rodriguez Looks For Encore Of Breakout 2022 Season

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It was a picture perfect season for Endy Rodriguez, who burst on the national scene while jumping from High-A to Triple-A, hitting his way level after level and flying up prospects charts everywhere.

After picking apart Single-A pitching in 2021, the catcher found a way to top a season where he finished in the top 5 in almost every offensive category among Florida State League hitters.

That was even a slow start to the season in Greensboro that saw him post a wRC+ of just 76, as well as striking out 31.6% of the time during the month of April. Things started to shift for him once May hit, and really took off when he was able to focus on catching again.

After May, not only was the strikeout rate cut in half (16%), he posted a 182 wRC+, hitting 24 of his 25 home runs. Of course playing in Greensboro helps those offensive numbers most times. However, Rodriguez put up a wRC+ of 200 the final two months while with Altoona and Indianapolis.

While it’s easy to just look at his offense, it was also his play behind the plate that took a huge step forward. Yes, part of the appeal to Endy’s game is his ability to play multiple positions, but his first home is catcher and he emerged as one of the better players behind the plate, not only in the system but in all of the minors.

It took a little bit to get back in the swing of things behind the plate after Henry Davis took the majority of the time while they were both in Greensboro. Once that adjustment period was over, it was easy to see why there isn’t a doubt Endy can be a full-time starting catcher in the majors.

He eclipsed a 30% caught stealing rate overall in 2022, including catching 45% of would-be base stealers once he hit Double-A Altoona.

Heading into 2023, anticipation is high about him making his major league debut after being added to the 40-man roster during the offseason.

Most are high on him this season, with Steamer projecting him to put up a 1.9 WAR in just 64 games played. That total is the 19th highest mark among catchers and of the top 20, he is projected at the fewest amount of games. It’s also a 4.8 WAR/162 games played, and that total is approaching elite among the position.

Ever since he’s joined the organization, Rodriguez has done nothing but hit and get better. The Pirates had Oneil Cruz, Roansy Contreras, and Jack Suwinski come up and establish themselves last year as rookies, with Endy now set to lead the next wave in 2023.

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Anthony Murphy
Anthony Murphy
Anthony began writing over 10 years ago, starting a personal blog to cover the 2011 MLB draft, where the Pirates selected first overall. After bouncing around many websites covering hockey, he refocused his attention to baseball, his first love when it comes to sports. He eventually found himself here at Pirates Prospects in late 2021, where he covers the team’s four full season minor league affiliates.

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