SoxProspects News

March 1, 2021 at 9:42 AM

Scouting Report Updates: Jorge Rodriguez, Durbin Feltman, and more


Our next group of scouting report updates is pitcher-heavy, headlined by SP Top 30 prospects Jorge Rodriguez and Durbin Feltman, as well as Taiwanese pitcher Chih-Jung Liu and 2020 fifth-round pick, Shane Drohan.

SoxProspects.com scouting reports are written by our scouting team, led by Director of Scouting Ian Cundall.

Jorge Rodriguez, Left-handed pitcher

Physical Description: Small-framed left-hander with some projection remaining.

Mechanics: Starts open with his glove low, then brings it above his head. Medium-to-high leg kick. Brings leg across his body for torque.

Fastball: 88-92 mph. Good movement and advanced control for his age. Not an overpowering offering, but plays up due to deception and has a high spin rate. Average potential.

Curveball: Excellent spin rate. Average potential.

Changeup: Average potential.

Career Notes: Had the best performance of any pitcher for the GCL Red Sox in 2019, earning a season-end promotion to Lowell. Participated in the Fall Instructional League in 2019 and 2020, but did not pitch in game action in 2020.

Summation: On the smaller side, but shows promise. Has major league potential with his excellent control profile and spin rates, needs added velocity and further development of his fastball and curveball to reach full potential. Excellent pitchability for his age.

Note: This page will be updated with a complete scouting report after the scouting team has seen the player in person.
 
-----
 
Durbin Feltman, Right-handed pitcher
 
Physical Description: Short, stocky frame. Average build with minimal remaining projection.
 
Mechanics: Throws from an over-the-top arm slot. Max-effort delivery. Starts on the third base side of the rubber and doesn't use a windup. Very quick arm. Short, stiff arm action behind. Hides the ball well.
 
Fastball: 92-96 mph. Topped out at 99 mph in college. Sat 94-96 mph after signing in 2018, but velo was down in 2019, often sitting 91-93 and only occasionally touching 96. Reportedly was still sitting in the low-90s in spring training 2020, but velocity started to creep back up at the Fall Instructional League to 92-95, touching 96. At its best, the pitch explodes out of his hand and has late life, making it tough to square up. Club had him work on locating the pitch up in the zone early in 2019 after he had focused on locating it down in the zone in college and in 2018 pro debut. After struggling through the adjustment, particularly with his command and needing to sacrifice velocity to locate the pitch, he returned to locating it lower in the zone near the end of the season, with improved results. Command still needs improvement and is inconsistent from outing to outing. Potential plus offering. 
 
Slider: 85-87 mph. True power breaking ball. Pitch shows hard bite and depth though the zone. Gets over it well and finishes the pitch. Able to throw in the zone or get hitters to chase it out of the zone. Lost feel for the pitch early in 2019, causing him to lean on his curveball more often, but returned to the pitch later in the year. Even though it is inconsistent, pitch still had an above-average whiff rate. Potential above-average pitch with the ability to miss bats at the highest level, but inconsistency in 2019 makes it seem much less likely the pitch will consistently grade out that high.
 
Curveball: 80-82 mph. Good change of pace from his slider as it comes in with different shape and in a different velocity band. Began relying on the pitch more in early 2019 when he lost feel for his slider, but leaned more on the slider later in the year. At 2020 Fall Instructs, he used it effectively and was able to get swinging strikes with it. Potential average pitch.
 
Career Notes: Closed for TCU all three years of college, tying the school’s career saves record (32) and setting the school’s single-season mark in 2017. Was ranked a consensus top 100 player in the 2018 draft and was projected by many to be the fastest player in the draft to make the majors, even as soon as the end of the 2018 season, based on his fastball-slider combination. Moved quickly through the low minors after being drafted in 2018, pitching just 23 1/3 innings across three levels before beginning 2019 in Portland. Participated in the Fall Instructional League in 2018, 2019, and 2020. 
 
Summation: Potential middle reliever. Ceiling of a late-inning reliever, but 2019 struggles make it seem less likely he will reach that ceiling. Both fastball and slider show above-average potential at their best. Curveball has developed into a nice compliment as well to give hitters another look. Needs to regain his fastball velocity. Fastball command will also be key to development going forward, as well as whether he gets comfortable throwing it up in the zone.

-----

Chih-Jung Liu, Right-handed pitcher

Physical Description: Mid-sized, athletic frame. Has some projection left in his upper half and should add strength as he matures. 

Mechanics: Throws from a compact, high-three-quarters arm slot, starting on the first base side of the rubber. Pronounced leg kick with large stride towards home plate. Falls off to the first base side post-delivery, sometimes significantly. Effortful but not violent arm mechanics.
 
Fastball: Sat 88-92 mph, topping out at 93 mph, at Fall Instructs 2020, down significantly from where he reportedly sat before signing. Also showed a two-seam fastball with late downward movement. Reportedly sat 93-96 mph and topped out at 97-98 mph with his four-seam prior to signing. Potential average offering.
 
Slider: 82-85 mph. Shorter breaking ball with more tilt. Pitch is inconsistent; does not always snap it off.
 
Curveball: 80-82 mph. Vertical, with longer break.
 
Changeup: 80-83 mph. Will flash late fade.
 
Split-Finger Fastball: 82-84 mph. Will flash late downward action.
 
Career Notes: Two-way player in high school who both pitched and was a switch-hitting shortstop. Showed great range and athleticism at short. Was reportedly overused on the mound. Pitched for Taiwan in the 2017 U18 World Cup. Went to Culture University out of high school rather than entering the CBPL draft. Took a break from pitching for two seasons to rest his arm. Returned to pitching in 2019, dialing his fastball up to 98 mph. Was named MVP of the 2019 Asian Baseball Championship, where he was a teammate of Tzu-Wei Lin. Did not pitch much in 2020 spring training because team had him quarantine after arriving in Fort Myers during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, and camp was ended before he could really take the mound. Participated in 2020 Fall Instructional League, essentially his stateside debut.
 
Summation: Athletic right-hander with a wide-ranging pitch mix, but none projecting as more than average based on initial looks at 2020 Fall Instructional League. Showed feel for pitching, but stuff was down considerably from prior reports, which could have been due to the long layoff from the cancellation of the 2020 minor league season. Has potential based on the reports from prior to his signing, but also comes with substantial risk.

-----

Shane Drohan, Left-handed pitcher
 
Physical Description: Tall, athletic pitcher's frame. Some remaining projection. Long limbs. Room to add strength.

Mechanics:
Throws from a three-quarters arm slot. Easy arm action. Hides the ball well. Delivery works. Repeats it well, especially considering he did not commit fully to baseball until college.

Fastball:
90-92 mph. Tops out at 95 mph. Pitch shows natural sink and has a good spin rate. Should add velocity as he physically matures.

Curveball:
77-79 mph. Power breaking ball with a plus spin rate. Pitch has 1-to-7 break and has flashed depth and tight rotation when he finishes it.

Changeup:
80-83 mph. Third pitch. Will show some feel at times. Does a good job of not telegraphing the pitch. Pitch improved in college.         

Career Notes:
Father, Bill, was a pitcher in the Royals organization from 1987-1990. Was highly regarded coming out of high school and was selected in the 23rd round of the 2017 MLB Draft by the Phillies. Successful quarterback in high school and did not commit fully to baseball until he was in college. First professional experience came in the 2020 Fall Instructional League.

Summation:
Athletic left-hander who will show a three-pitch mix, but needs to develop physically. Has more upside remaining than a typical college draftee. Has the type of athleticism you look for in a pitcher. Has shown a general feel for pitching and a repeatable delivery. Fastball command needs improvement and he needs to continue to refine his secondaries.

Note: This page will be updated with a complete scouting report after the scouting team has seen the player in person.

-----

Cameron Cannon, Infielder
 
Physical Description: Undersized, compact frame. Average athlete. Has some room to add additional strength, but close to maxed-out physically.

Hit:
Starts square and utilizes a toe tap timing device. Average bat speed. Short, direct swing path. Approach is raw at present. Very aggressive in the early stages of his career. Looks to attack fastballs early in the count and rarely works deep counts. Pull-heavy approach at present. Has shown the tendency to expand the zone against breaking balls. Organization is tweaking his mechanics slightly from college. Will need to show improved discipline, especially as he faces more advanced pitching. Potential below-average hit tool.

Power:
Average raw power. Below-average game power. Swing lacks lift and is designed more for hard, gap-to-gap contact than over-the-fence power. Has shown the ability to drive the ball to the pull side during batting practice.

Run:
Below-average speed. Speed plays up on the base paths due to above-average instincts. Stolen bases will not be a big part of his game.

Field: Profiles best as a second baseman if he can stick in the infield, which is not a guarantee. Profiles only in left field if he moves to the outfield. Has played some shortstop early in his career, but lacks fluidity and feel there. Average range and hands are on the rough side for shortstop. Not the most instinctual defender, has shown the tendency to let ground balls play him rather than attack the ball.

Arm: Fringe-average arm strength. Adequate for second base, but light for the left side of the infield.

Career Notes: Drafted by the Diamondbacks in the 21st round of the 2016 draft, but honored his commitment to the University of Arizona. Participated in the Fall Instructional League in 2019 and 2020.

Summation:
Potential minor league depth player. Ceiling of an emergency up-and-down player. Bat will have to carry him; does not project to add significant value defensively. Needs to improve defensively and refine plate approach. Has not shown the potential at the plate the Red Sox envisioned when they drafted him. If he can show the upside offensively he did coming out of college, projection could change quickly. Early returns from 2021 will tell a lot about where his development is going. Likely will add other positions as he moves up the ladder, but currently looks best suited for second base.

-----

Darel Belen, Outfielder
 
Physical Description: Tall and strong frame with some physical projection remaining. Looks bigger than listed height and weight.

Hit:
Slightly open stance. Starts with his bat level over his shoulder. Quiet upper body upon pitch approach. Prominent toe tap timing device. Swing is on the long side, but he has some feel. Needs to refine his approach and cut down on the swing-and-miss in his game. Potential well-below-average hit tool.

Power:
Plus raw power. Can impact the baseball and has loft in his swing. As he physically matures, could increase to plus-plus raw power. In-game power potential is closer to average due to questionable hit tool.

Run:
Well-below-average speed. Not fast. Could get slower as he physically matures.

Field:
Average defensive profile. Soft hands, not bad at first base. Below-average range for the outfield. Spent most of the 2019 season in right field, but also saw limited lime in left field, center field, and at first base. Played primarily first base at the 2020 Fall Instructional League.

Arm:
Potential plus arm. Accuracy needs some work, but has plenty of arm for right field. Had three outfield assists in 2019.

Career Notes:
Signed a few months prior to his 19th birthday, late for an international signing. Participated in the Fall Instructional League in 2019 and 2020.

Summation:
Bat-first corner profile with a wide range of potential outcomes. High floor, low ceiling. If he can make contact and better tap into his huge raw power, he becomes more intriguing. Likely best suited for first base long-term, but has the arm to play right outfield as well, though his lack of foot speed could be an issue in the outfield.

Note: This page will be updated with a complete scouting report after the scouting team has seen the player in person.

Photo Credit: Jorge Rodriguez and Chih-Jung Liu by Kelly O'Connor.
 
Mark Hanoian is the Scouting Report Manager for SoxProspects.com.


 
Copyright © 2003-2021 SoxProspects, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Email: info@soxprospects.com