Ronny Rodriguez Mans Shortstop as the Akron Aeros Kick Off the 2013 Season
Ronnie Tellalian | On 16, Apr 2013
The Akron Aeros season is underway and the defending Eastern League Champions look to add another banner to Canal Park. They started the season at home with a four game series against the Binghamton Mets. They lost 2-1 in each of the first two games, looking feeble with the bats but solid on defense. The sticks came alive in the last two games as Akron scored a combine 18 runs, but they came away with only one win.
They split a two game series with the Altoona Curve and won only one out of three against the Bowie Bay Sox. Through ten games the Aeros record stands at a division worst 3-7. Things are looking up for the Aeros despite the slow start. Their lineup is filled with young talent and top prospects. One of those is listed as the Cleveland Indians #7 prospect, 20-year old Ronny Rodriguez.
Rodriguez is one in a long line of prospects that play shortstop in the Indians organization. He showed a great deal of promise in 2011 with the Lake County Captains. As an 18-year old for the Captains he hit 11 home runs and played solid defense for such a young kid.
In 126 games for the Carolina Mudcats in 2012, Rodriguez displayed plus power. He hit 19 home runs and slugged .452 at the age of 19. He batted a modest .264, but his slow start had something to do with that. He started slow in each of his three Minor League seasons, never batting above .205 in the month of April. He came on strong however in the second half of the Mudcats season batting .333 from June on.
“Rodriguez was hitting .205 in the middle of May, six weeks into the season, and ended up hitting .264,” Aeros manager Edwin Rodriguez said.
He now plays shortstop for the Aeros where he bats seventh in the Akron line-up. Rodriguez has started slowly thus far, batting .242 with one home run through the first ten games of the season. He hit the ball well on April 14, getting two hits in the Aeros 9-5 loss to the Bowie Bay Sox. Edwin, however, isn’t worried about Ronny’s slow start.
“It’s cold here so you’re going to struggle, but that’s what the minor leagues are all about,” Edwin said.
Ronny has confidence in his ability and even though he’s had a rough start, he shows maturity through his struggles.
“I have to go out there and play every day”, Ronny said, “I just do the best I can do.”
That attitude is going to help the young player develop. One of the toughest things to deal with as a young baseball player is dealing with failure and inconsistency. The ability to bounce back from adversity is a telling sign as to what kind of player he can become. Rodriguez has the talent to be a Major League player, especially given his power potential at such a young age. With the logjam of talent at shortstop for the Indians it seems Rodriguez may be in line for a position change down the road. With the power he has displayed thus far in his short career it seems third base would be a good fit. If Lonnie Chisenhall fails to pan out as an option for the Indians at third, in a couple years Rodriguez could be waiting in the wings. The young shortstop shows a great deal of modesty for all his talent and potential.
“I’m happy to be here and play for [Edwin],” the modest Rodriguez said. “I have to hit the ball and take one day at a time.”
Ronny Rodriguez will be in the line-up nearly every day for the Aeros. He has the enthusiasm of a teenager, the ability of top prospect and a big league future. He will surely give Akron fans a reason to come out to the park and see the future of the Indians organization.
Photo: Jesse Piecuch/DTTWLN photographer