Cleveland Guardians prospects: Get to know LHP Rodney Boone

CLEVELAND, OHIO – APRIL 20: The new Cleveland Guardians logo on the uniform of Myles Straw #7 of the Cleveland Guardians prior to game one of a doubleheader against the Chicago White Sox at Progressive Field on April 20, 2022 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Rodney Boone was one of 19 pitchers taken by the Guardians in last year’s draft, and he’s already making a great impression in his first professional season.

Left-hander Rodney Boone was an eighth-round pick of the Cleveland Guardians in the 2021 draft, and he’s already starting to make some noise in his first professional season.

Wednesday night, the 22-year-old Boone carried a perfect game into the sixth inning for Low-A Lynchburg, finishing his night by giving up one hit, walking none, and striking out eight in those six innings of work.

On the season now, Boone has a 2.03 ERA in six starts, with a fantastic 41 strikeouts and only five walks in 26 2/3 innings. In his collegiate career at UC Santa Barbara, he maintained a 2.52 ERA in 34 starts across three seasons. According to scouting reports, the 6-foot-1, 195-pound lefty throws a fastball in the low 90s, which is complemented by a plus changeup and curveball, which projects to potentially be his best pitch.

The Guardians went wild in selecting pitchers in last years’s draft, taking 19 arms with their 21 picks. The draft was of course highlighted by the selection of right-hander Gavin Williams in the first round, but recognizing Cleveland as the pitching factory that it is, there are going to plenty of later-round picks that will one day make a difference at the major-league level.

With the start that he’s having in Lynchburg, Boone could very well be one of those names. Given that he’s already 22, there’s a chance he finds his way to Double-A Akron by the time the season ends, provided he stays healthy. And if he keeps putting up solid numbers with eye-popping strikeout totals, Boone could find himself in the major-league discussion sooner rather than later.