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May 5, 2015 at 10:30 AM

April Players of the Month: Manuel Margot and Eduardo Rodriguez

This year, the winners of the SoxProspects.com Player and Pitcher of the Month Awards will be chosen by the SoxProspects.com community through voting on our Forum. This month, Manuel Margot ran away with the Player of the Month voting, while Eduardo Rodriguez (pictured) squeaked by Brian Johnson in the Pitcher of the Month poll. With Blake Swihart in the majors and Yoan Moncada still in extended spring training, Margot and Rodriguez represent the current top position player and pitcher in the minors per the SoxProspects.com rankings

Margot’s impressive month was highlighted by the fact that he did not strike out until his 70th plate appearance of the season, the top mark in all of professional baseball.  But he did not win the award just for his ability to make contact. Margot showed that he can impact the game on every level, with a triple slash of .324/.377/.515 to go along with nine stolen bases and typically positive reviews of his defense. He slugged four doubles, three triples, and a home run, and collected seven walks to go along with his one strikeout. 

Despite not turning 21 until the end of September, Margot could be in Portland around the All-Star break if he stays healthy and maintains his current production. That would make him the youngest player in the Eastern League, assuming nobody younger than him gets promoted first. The Phillies have reportedly scouted Margot this season, but it will be tough for the Red Sox to give up the promising center fielder in any deal.

While it is tough watching Andrew Miller dominate out of the Yankee bullpen, the player acquired for Miller at last year’s trade deadline has become the top pitching prospect in the system. After beginning the season as the youngest pitcher in Triple-A, Rodriguez dominated the older competition in his three April starts, going 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA, surrendering only 12 hits and one walk over 18 2/3 innings while striking out 16. Opponents are batting just .182 against Rodriguez with a .194 on-base percentage. 

After being added to the 40-man roster in November 2014, Rodriguez is a player to keep an eye on as a potential reinforcement to the Boston pitching staff after he gets more seasoning in Pawtucket. He has scouted well, showing a plus fastball and two average secondary pitches that have the potential to develop as the 22-year-old gains more experience. With most of the pitchers in Boston struggling, it will be interesting to see how patient the front office is with Rodriguez.

Photo Credit: Eduardo Rodriguez by Kelly O'Connor