The 25-year-old Rodriguez spent seven seasons in Cleveland’s farm system before he was signed by the Tigers as a minor league free agent back in December.
He has posted double-digit home runs in five seasons, and double-digit steals in three.
His performance stayed consistent even as he rose through Cleveland’s ranks. In fact, Rodriguez had one of his strongest seasons at Triple-A in 2017. He posted 17 home runs, 15 stolen bases and a .291 average. His 114 wRC+ is the second highest mark of his career.
Rodriguez certainly fits the bill of utility infielder. He has extensive experience at first, second, third and shortstop in the minor leauges. Additionally, he has played both center field and right field in the last two years.
Rodriguez’s blend of power and speed is intriguing, but there are certainly concerns about his bat at the major league level.
For starters, Rodriguez has never had much of an eye at the plate. He posted a 4.8% walk-rate last year, which was the second highest mark of his career. That keeps his OBP down in the low .300’s. He will struggle to post an OBP over .280 in the major leagues if he does not learn how to draw a walk.
Defensively, while Rodriguez has versatility around the diamond, his defense is not elite by any means. Rodriguez originally came up as a shortstop but made 82 errors in three seasons before being moved around. He has fared much better at second base and the corners, but asking him to play shortstop at the big league level is a tall order.
Overall, Rodriguez profiles like your typical utility infielder with one exception, his power. With Dixon Machado in the fold, it is possible Rodriguez could make the team out of camp and fill-in around the diamond, with Machado starting at short when Iglesias needs a break.
Next is the only other player besides Kozma who has major league experience.