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Rockies prospect Brendan Rodgers rolls along in the South Atlantic League

Brendan Rodgers
Brendan Rodgers
Clinton Riddle

Brendan Rodgers has been steadily rolling through the South Atlantic League for half the season and shows no signs of slowing down. I wouldn’t expect him to be in Low-A much longer.

Rodgers has continued to justify his upper-echelon prospect status. Drafted third-overall in 2015 by the Colorado Rockies, Rodgers played in the rookie-level Pioneer League with Grand Junction and had little difficulty adjusting to the pro game. He batted .273, knocked in 20 runs and scored 22 more in 37 games as an 18 year-old playing against opponents who were three years older, on average. This season, he’s batted .289 with 10 homers and 38 RBI in 59 games with Class-A Asheville, along with 17 doubles and 43 runs scored. Rodgers has drawn 20 walks against 49 strikeouts, a result of his quick hands and smooth, level swing.

Rodgers seems to do everything well; there isn’t really a significant weakness in his game. He already shows plus power with good strike zone judgment, and will likely continue to make frequent hard contact at the higher levels without suffering a significant drop in his power numbers.

He doesn’t ever seem to be thinking "home run" at the plate, only looking to hit the ball hard where it’s pitched. Batters who have a talent for putting the ball in play often find that the extra-base hits will come as long as they are simply looking to square up the ball consistently.

Rodgers already has a lot of raw power, especially for his position, and will likely end up smacking 25-30 homers per year at his peak. I would be surprised if that didn’t happen by his Age 24 season, regardless of how far he has moved up the organizational ladder.

Defensively, Rodgers shows smooth, natural footwork at shortstop, with solid lateral range and enough arm to handle short or third. Third base could ultimately be his home, as he dealt with a number of leg injuries in 2015 as an 18 year-old.

Whether or not this is an indication of things to come remains to be seen, but even if he does move to third he still has more than enough bat for the position. He likely won’t steal more than 8-10 bases per season, but he does show advanced base-running instincts for his age.

Overall, it already looks like Rodgers has the potential to be an All-Star-caliber infielder (whether at SS or 3B) by the time he makes it to Denver. In the event he is moved to second base as a Major Leaguer, he is a virtual lock for multiple All-Star appearances. A peak of 25+ HR, 90-100 RBI, and a .290 batting average should be easily reached by the first-round phenom, and may be a somewhat conservative estimate given that he’ll be playing half his games in the thin atmosphere of Coors Field.