Rodriguez (6'2, 235 pounds) was a 48th-round selection of the Houston Astros in 2009, so he obviously made the correct decision in choosing school instead of 48th-round money.
"A dominant reliever for the Gators throughout his career, Rodriguez seems to keep getting better and better. Originally a 48th round pick in 2009, he made a mark his freshman season with Florida by earning a Super Regional win over Miami to send UF to the College World Series and followed up that effort with a terrific outing against Vanderbilt during the 2011 CWS to help send his team to the championship series. Now in his third season, Rodriguez boasts a 2.08 ERA (second lowest on the team despite throwing the most innings of any reliever) with a 79/13 K/BB ratio in 60.2 innings. Despite the fact that at least two of his teammates will be drafted ahead of him, Rodriguez may have the quickest path to the majors as a lefty reliever with his power and control is highly desired by all clubs."On the MLB.com draft coverage, Jim Callis of Baseball America said aside from Marcus Stroman (No. 22 overall pick), Rodriguez "could be the fastest to the majors" from this draft class.
Rodriguez sports a low-90s fastball and what has been described as a "nasty" cutter. Baseball America had him as the 114th-best player available in the draft.
I have to be honest: I'm not a fan of this pick. There really isn't a reason for the Dodgers to be drafting college relievers (silver lining: at least it was a lefty). The Dodgers are absolutely stacked in the minors with arms and relievers are probably the easiest thing to find in baseball.
Logan White has previously used early-round selections on college relievers with mixed results. Josh Lindblom has turned out well so far, but Zach Hammes pitched just eight innings at a level higher than Double-A.
I know it's hard to judge a draft selection this early, but the 82nd pick still has value and to use it on a college reliever is puzzling.
The Dodgers' third-round pick is a lot more interesting.
With the 113th pick, the Dodgers chose Cuban left-hander Onelki Garcia. He's a "local" guy from Calbasas, Calif.
Callis said if Garcia, 22, had been available in last year's draft, he would have been their selection.
Here are some tweets about the selection:
"The Dodgers take Onelki Garcia, last year's weird Cuba story. He said he wants $7 million, he's not going to get $7 million."Ben Badler
"Dodgers top 2011 international sign (by far) was Cuban RHP Raydel Sanchez ($250K), who defected in '08. Same agent who reps Onelkis Garcia."Matt Bandy
"Onelki Garcia was the guy who showed up like the day of the draft in 2011 and nobody really knew anything about him. Was deemed ineligible."And then the most interesting tweet, via Keith Law (courtesy of Roberto Baly):
"Law wrote this last week RT @keithlaw Onelki Garcia is demanding a $7 million bonus, and won't sign if he's not taken in the 1st round"He obviously wasn't drafted in the first, but if the Dodgers him something close to first-round money ($2-3M), I wonder if that will change his mind. The Dodgers have just a little more than $5.2 million to sign their first 11 picks, so it'll be interesting to see what they do with Garcia.
Perhaps the Dodgers went a little "cheap" with Jesmuel Valentin and Rodriguez so they could offer Garcia a little more money. Who knows? We'll have to see what happens.
Callis said Garcia has a 90-92 MPH (reported at 92-95 last year) with a good curveball. According to Baseball America, he "reported" as a 6-foot-3, 220-pound 21-year-old prior to last year's draft.
If the Dodgers can sign him, I like this pick a lot more than the Rodriguez pick. Then again, the Dodgers might not be able to get Garcia without drafting Rodriguez.
All-Star balloting update
Matt Kemp is leading the National League in All-Star voting with nearly 2 million votes. Despite his injury, he might get voted in by the fans (and subsequently replaced, as I'm sure he won't be playing in an exhibition game).
Andre Ethier is fourth in the National League, but he's well behind Ryan Braun (less than 300,000 votes). If he keeps hitting, he'll probably be named a reserve.
Sadly, A.J. Ellis isn't even in the Top 5 in the balloting.
"A.J. Ellis does not rank among NL All-Star voting leaders at C: 1. Molina; 2. Posey; 3. McCann; 4. Ruiz; 5. Lucroy #Dodgers"We knew he wasn't going to beat Yadier Molina, but I was hoping to see him at least get some recognition. He's going to have a tough time beating out Carlos Ruiz for the backup catcher spot in the NL.
The Dodgers have no other players in the Top 5 of fan balloting.