Cleveland Guardians prospects: Let's not forget about Johnathan Rodríguez

The Cleveland Guardians need a power outfield bat, and Jonathan Rodríguez - currently in Triple-A - can certainly provide it. When will he eventually be called up to Cleveland?
Cleveland Guardians Photo Day
Cleveland Guardians Photo Day / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages

Even as the Cleveland Guardians have propelled themselves to a 19-8 start, the siren call of Kyle Manzardo in Triple-A has not been quieted.

The fact is, the bottom half of Cleveland's lineup could use some shaking up soon, and it's only a matter of time before the Guardians start looking into the minor leagues for some additional roster depth and more offensive production.

Obviously, Manzardo has been the name constantly tossed out there, and for good reason. But outfielder Johnathan Rodríguez certainly deserves our attention as well. The 24-year-old is firing on all cylinders with the Columbus Clippers, slashing .298/.410/.548 with five home runs, six doubles, and 17 RBI through his first 100 plate appearances this season.

You read that correctly: Rodríguez is an outfielder mashing in Triple-A. Aside from left fielder Steven Kwan, the Guardians are still searching for any sort of decent consistency out of the outfield, so Rodríguez makes for a very enticing prospect to get up to Cleveland as soon as possible.

A Look at Johnathan Rodríguez's Scouting Report

Rodríguez has always been labeled as a high-risk, high-reward player with a long swing and tremendous power potential. But that's oversimplifying Rodríguez, who has proven he can also hit for a very respectable average and maintain his power while also keeping his strikeouts to a manageable rate. And with his success in Columbus in 2023 as well - he hit 11 home runs and 12 doubles in just 175 at-bats - there's pretty much nothing left for him to prove in Triple-A.

Throughout his time in the minors, Rodríguez has shown to need time to adjust to each new level, but the power is always there, and once he does get acclimated, he starts to mash. Guardians fans will have to be patient with Rodríguez once he does finally get called up, but he should be able to give Cleveland's outfield a generous power boost immediately.

Though every prospect is an unproven commodity, the thing that makes Cleveland's runway this season so exciting is that the team does have a number of major-league-ready bats that could certainly bolster the bottom of the order by year's end. Rodríguez will be one of them.