Scouting Report: Francisco Rodriguez
• Key role:
Rodriguez has been one of baseball's best relievers in all six of his Major League seasons. He has three plus pitches (fastball, slider and change-up) and all the characteristics of a championship-caliber closer:
• High strikeout rate
• An outpitch (slider)
• Keeps the ball in the park (low home run rate)
• Wants the ball in crunch time
Rodriguez is just 26, but he's already headed for free agency after debuting at the age of 20. And it's good timing. He's on pace to break
• One of the best sliders in the game
• Deceptive delivery
• Nightmare for right-handed hitters
• Fastball command can be inconsistent
• Trouble with throwing accurately to bases
• Slow leg to the plate with runners on base
• Trouble fielding come-backers because of his off-balance follow-through.
Rodriguez is a below average fielder because he doesn't finish in a good fielding position. He is also slow to the plate and doesn't hold runners on well.