Ronny Rodriguez – Detroit Tigers Breakout Candidate

Ronny Rodriguez
DETROIT, MI - MAY 8: Ronny Rodriguez #60 of the Detroit Tigers triples to drive in Niko Goodrum #28 against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Comerica Park on May 8, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)

Ronny Rodriguez of the Detroit Tigers has been on a hot streak as of late. He is batting .333 with four home runs, 13 RBI, and swiped a bag halfway through May. For the entire season he is batting .312 with six home runs and 17 RBI. He has been a surprise spark for a Tigers team that has been struggling to score runs, ranking 29th in Major League Baseball.

Ronny Rodriguez Breakout

Triple-A

In 2017 during his final year with the Cleveland Indians organization, he played for Columbus at the Triple-A level. He improved from the season prior at the same level.  He went from batting .258 to .291 and his BABIP increased from .298 to .329 which supports his batting average increase. His power numbers went up by hitting 17 home runs with a .163 ISO, .454 SLG, 18.8% LD rate, and .778 OPS. The previous season he had only 10 home runs with a .142 ISO, .400 SLG, 14.0% LD rate, and .693 OPS.

Then, in 2018, he broke out in Toledo. He played only 63 games, batting .338 with nine home runs, 42 RBI, and 10 stolen bases. His power numbers surged again with .219 ISO, .558 SLG, 24.6% LD rate, and .923 OPS. He would be called up to the Detroit Tigers after putting up most of those numbers.

2018 Call-Up

Ronny Rodriguez would make his Major League debut on May 31 against the Los Angeles Angels. Rodriguez would go 2-for-4 in that game. Then he would end up going 0-for-22 with one walk, two runs scored and seven strikeouts across his next 22 plate appearances. He wound up being sent back to the minors for a few games. On the whole year, he would end up batting .220 with five home runs, 20 RBI, and about a four-to-one strikeout to walk ratio across 206 plate appearances.

2019 Verdict

Rodriguez seems to be on a hot streak which will come to end, but he will still have a good season as the numbers indicate. His current ISO of .390 is not sustainable by any means. He currently ranks third among all batters with at 70 plate appearances. He should end up around .230 because he has been getting better in the minors. Additionally, getting regular playing time has led to improvements are expected.

His batting average of .312 is unsustainable because of his high strikeout percentage. If he could lower his strikeout percentage to around 19.0%, he most certainly could bat around .300. His BABIP will also go down which will cause his batting average to go down. His BABIP is most certainly to go down with more plate appearances even though his minor league numbers would suggest otherwise but due to better pitching it will most likely go down. His improved walk percentage should lead to him sustaining his current on base percentage. Ronny’s LD rate would suggest he could continue to hit for power.

Overall, the numbers suggest that he will have a better season than last. He should continue to develop, and his power could become sustainable in due time. He is becoming a power hitter who could hit for average but only time will tell how good offensively Ronny Rodriguez is.

All statistics are as of May 14th 2019

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