In the second edition of 30 Prospects in 30 Days, we focus on Carlos Rodon, a 6’3″ 235 lb junior at North Carolina State University.
Scouting Grades (per MLB.com on 0-100 scale): Fastball: 65 | Slider: 70 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 50 | Overall: 65
Widely regarded as the best college left-hander since fellow southpaw David Price of the Rays, Rodon was originally taken in the 16th round by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 2011 MLB draft. However, he ultimately decided not to sign with the Brew Crew and go to NCSU because the signing bonus was not enough to compensate the risk of being drafted so late.
A few years later, it looks like Rodon made the right move, as he is expected to be drafted in the first round of a pitching rich draft pool this year.
Rodon only reinforced this status by leading the Wolfpack to their first College World Series berth since 1968 last spring, leading NCAA Division I with a school-record 184 strikeouts.
He hasn’t been as consistently dominant in 2014, but he still owns an impressive 1.87 ERA with 102 strikeouts in 87 2/3 innings and is definitely still in the mix to be drafted first overall by the Houston Astros.
Overall, in three years with N.C. State Rodon is 23-10 with a 2.21 ERA and 11.34 K/9 in 334 innings.
When Rodon is at his best, his fastball sits in the low-to-mid 90’s and occasionally reaches 96-97mph. Backing up the heater are his slider and changeup, which also aren’t too shabby.
Rodon’s slider is considered to be possibly the best breaking ball of any pitcher in this year’s draft class, as it sits in the mid 80’s with the ability to fool both left and right-handed hitters. His changeup, on the other hand, is easily his least effective pitch and yet it is still an above average pitch that he has confidence to throw whether he is ahead of behind in the count.
The only flaw with Rodon is that he sometimes struggles with his command, as he has walked 3.07 batters per nine innings in his college career. Though, command can be improved with tweaks to his delivery and with that being the only flaw in his game, he definitely has future ace potential for whatever team drafts him.
Tune in tomorrow at 6pm ET for the next edition of 30 Prospects in 30 Days: RHP Tyler Kolek