NORFOLK, VA (WTKR)- Grayson Rodriguez is the top rated pitching prospect in Major League Baseball, according to MLB.com. He wasted no time showing why during his AAA debut on Friday night.
Making his first appearance in Norfolk, Rodriguez was masterful, throwing four shutout innings of one hit baseball while striking out seven. The right-hander only issued one walk and threw 61 pitches, 40 of them for strikes. Rodriguez walked the first batter of the game, but responded by retiring ten straight Charlotte hitters, including a stretch of five consecutive strikeouts. He did not factor in the decision because he did not pitch at least five full innings.
Rodriguez entered the season as the No. 6 prospect, the top pitcher on the list. Many expect that he will be called up by the Orioles at some point this year.
The Tides, who were playing as the Norfolk Coffee on Friday night, gave plenty of offensive help to Rodriguez and the pitching staff. A four run first inning set the tone in a 12-1 Norfolk victory over the Knights, evening the Tides' record at 2-2 on the young season. Two more games remain in the season-opening series before Norfolk spends next week in Scranton-Wilkes Barre.