Baltimore Orioles' Prospect, Frederick Keys' 1B Aderlin Rodriguez Had a Monster Year in 2016

Many people believe that Baltimore Orioles' prospect, catcher Chance Sisco is the leading contender for the 2016 Brooks Robinson Minor League Player of the Year award, but I am not as convinced, and part of that is due to the monster year that first baseman Aderlin Rodriguez had for the High-A Frederick Keys.

Photo: Patrick Cavey

Rodriguez, 24, was signed by the Orioles in January as a minor league free agent after he spent 2015 in both the New York Mets and Seattle Mariners organizations.

The signing likely went unnoticed, and I can't blame anyone for not noticing. We are talking about a guy who is 24 and hit a combined .234 in the minors in 2015.

Rodriguez, who has always had the skill set, but just couldn't seem to get everything to click at the plate, came out and had a monster year in his first season in the Orioles' organization.

I personally saw him play a few times this season, and I can tell you that he is one of those guys where the sound of the ball off the bat is just different than most players. He has legitimate power, and when he uses all fields, he is a very dangerous hitter. He, like most power hitters in the game these days, is susceptible to the strikeout (112 this season), but he proved that he can still hit for a high average in addition to the power he has.

The 6-foot, three-inch, 210 pound right hander proceeded to hit .304 with 26 home runs, 23 doubles, six triples, 93 RBI and scored 71 runs in 130 games with the Keys. He also posted a .359 OBP and a .891 OPS.

For those who may not be familiar with the minor leagues and how those numbers stack up, that's a monster year for a minor leaguer. Rodriguez led the entire Carolina League in slugging percentage (.532) and total bases (263), he ranked second in hits (150), home runs (26), and extra-base hits (55), third in batting average (.304), and fourth in RBI (93) this season.

Want to see a wider perspective? Rodriguez led all Orioles minor leaguers with his 26 home runs and 93 RBI.

His year did not go unrecognized in terms of awards either. Rodriguez earned a Carolina League Player of the Week honor (July 4-10), a Carolina League Player of the Month award (July), was twice named the Orioles' Minor League Player of the Month (May, July), was a Carolina League mid-season All-Star and was also named a Carolina League post-season All-Star as well.

Rodriguez piled up the awards in 2016, but will it conclude with a Brooks Robinson Minor League Player of the Year Award? I certainly believe he is a serious contender for the honor.


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