Meet the NRIs: 2B Starlin Rodriguez

Starlin Rodriguez is a switch hitting second baseman from the Dominican Republic. He actually originally signed for the 2009 season with the Tampa Bay Rays and played 8 games for them in the Dominican Summer League before he failed a physical and the team voided his contract. That led to him being signed that fall by the Cardinals.

Last year in Palm Beach for the Cardinals he hit .300/.373/.442 with 8 HR and 48 RBI in 114 games. Over his four seasons in the minors he’s hit .293/.364/.419. It’s probably good enough to get the jump to Double-A ball. The team obviously thinks enough of him to bring him to major league camp, perhaps in the hopes that it’ll help his learning curve being around veteran players.

He’s a guy that doesn’t get a lot of press, but comes across as a very toolsy player who could be very good if he can bring it all together. He is 23 years old, so he doesn’t have much time for setbacks. And he is about to make what I feel is the key jump in the minor leagues, from A ball to AA. He just needs to keep progressing and maybe he could make Kolten Wong‘s life interesting in a couple years if he puts it together.

Too bad he doesn’t play shortstop.