TYLER, Texas (KETK) – A number of East Texas pro baseball players are getting ready to head off to spring training very soon.
Some in just over a week.
Many of those local pros work out at APEC in Tyler during the off-season, including one of the biggest pitching prospects in all of minor league baseball.
That’s Nacogdoches Central Heights alum Grayson Rodriguez, who is the reigning Baltimore Orioles minor league pitcher of the year.
Wednesday, Rodriguez was named the 35th top prospect in all of minor league baseball for 2020.
The hard throwing right hander was insanely dominant this past season, playing for the Single-A Delmarva Shorebirds.
He was 10-4 with a 2.68 ERA in 20 starts with 129 strikeouts. He also tells me that he has developed three off-speed pitches aside from his fastball.
“It was great. You know I’ve never experienced full season baseball before. And that was my first year. And you know came out, really did how I wanted to. I was able to throw the ball well day after day. You know, it just turned into a great season. You learn a lot from everybody, not just the coaches, but the players. And you know, and just being able to talk to everybody and learn from it. I threw in the all-star game too. So it was a lot of fun to go up there, for the single-A all-star game. And then in Cleveland, you know getting to see a lot of those M-L-B hall of famers, and everybody. And you know, you can learn a lot from those guys,” said Rodriguez.
Rodriguez also credits veteran right-hander and Whitehouse alum Josh Tomlin for teaching him many of the tricks of the trade as they’ve worked out together the past two off-seasons.
Rodriguez reports to spring training with the Orioles farm system on February 16. While he’s unsure as to what level or club he will end up being assigned to, the East Texan believes it could be either High-A or possibly even Double-A.
Watch the video to see the story.