The Los Angeles Angels announced Friday that they are sending RHP Elvin Rodriguez to the Detroit Tigers as the player to be named later in the Aug. 31 trade involving outfielder Justin Upton and RHP Grayson Long.
Rodriguez ended the 2017 season with the Burlington Bees. In his three Midwest League starts, he went 0-2 with a 4.50 ERA (seven earned runs in 14 innings), 12 strikeouts and three walks. He also made 11 starts for the rookie-level Orem Owlz this year, going 5-1 with a 2.50 ERA, 49 strikeouts and 11 walks in 54 innings, earning him the Pioneer League Pitcher of the Year award.
The Dominican hurler likely will return to the Midwest League to start the 2018 season, in which case he would pitch for the West Michigan Whitecaps. He will turn 20 less than a week before the MWL season begins.
MLB Pipeline had Rodriguez ranked as the No. 22 prospect in the Angels organization prior to the trade’s completion. MiLB.com said this about him:
The 6-foot-3, 160-pound right-hander throws a fastball that sits in the high 80s with late life, and his command is far ahead of most teenage pitchers. He combines a repeatable delivery with good feel for his curveball and change-up, but will need to get stronger to reach his full potential.
Upton and Long also are former Midwest Leaguers, which I wrote about here at the time of the trade.