Former Central Heights Blue Devil Grayson Rodriguez, the No. 11 overall draft pick in Major League Baseball a year ago, has been making headlines since his top selection for the Baltimore Orioles was announced.
This week Rodriguez was cited as having top billing on the South Athletic League All-Star roster when he was officially named to the elite squad, his current minor league squad, the Delmarva Shorebirds, announced.
Rodriguez joins seven other Shorebirds, a team from Salisbury, Maryland, on the All-Star squad for the 60th annual South Athletic League All-Star Game presented by SEBRA, set for Appalachian Power Park in Charleston, West Virginia on June 18.
Rodriguez joins teammates Drew Rom (pitcher), Ofelky Peraita (pitcher), Zach Matson (pitcher), Daniel Fajardo (catcher), Adam Hall (shorstop), Doran Turchin (outfield) and Seamus Curran (DH) on the Northern Division’s roster. The eight players are the most from one SAL team this season. The last time the Shorebirds came close to this number of all-stars in the same season was in 2014 when they sent seven.
In his first season with the Shorebirds, Rodriguez appears headed for the majors, as he is leading Delmarva to the best record in the SAL Northern Division. The Shorebirds entered play Thursday night with a 44-14 (.759) record, including a 21-7 record at home and a 23-7 mark on the road. They lead second-place Greensboro (38-20) by six games in the division, and are 12.5 games better than the Charleston RiverDogs, the top team in the Southern Division.
The 19-year-old Rodriguez has the top billing on the Northern Division All-Stars, as the right-hander has posted an unblemished 6-0 record on the hill, with a 1.47 earned run average and a 0.836 WHIP in 43.0 innings pitched in eight starts. He has walked only 12, while fanning 61.
The Orioles’ No. 4 prospect a year ago and the No. 11 overall draft pick last year, Rodriguez began the season on a 14.2-inning scoreless streak, winning the SAL Pitcher of the Week award and Orioles Minor League Pitcher of the Month in April.
Rom is right with Rodriguez as one of the SAL teenage superstars. The lefty is 4-0, with a 1.49 ERA, a 1.063 WHIP, with 12 walks and 55 strikeouts through 42.1 innings in nine outings (seven starts). Rom was a fourth-round pick in last year’s draft and the No. 27 prospect in the Orioles’ system, recording a 0.35 earned run average in May, boasting a 25.1-inning scoreless streak from April 27 through May 30.