2023 Mid Season Rankings Update

Checking in on the Kids: NL Central Edition

As part of our new mid-season rankings update, we wanted to shine a light on some of the recent call-ups or hidden gems in each division. This week we are focusing on the NL Central. Like a parent checking in on a suspiciously quiet five-year-old in the next room, we here at TDG want to check in on our “kids” and see what they`re up to.

Endy Rodríguez, 23, C, Pirates, Majors

Signed out of the Dominican Republic as a young teenager by the Mets, Endy spent three years with the organization before being part of a three-team trade between the Pirates, Mets and Padres that included the Pirates shipping off burgeoning star Joe Musgrove to the Padres that ultimately ended with Rodríguez as part of the Pirates. Rodríguez will never be mistaken for a gold glove defender at any position, let alone catcher but he is competent at donning the tools of ignorance and getting better as he gains more reps behind the plate.

A wrist injury early on may be to blame for the somewhat tepid results Endy had in Triple-A before his recent call-up in which he slashed .268/.356/.400 with only six homeruns. His bat will play anywhere on the diamond, but he`s obviously more valuable at catcher than any other position. The elephant in the Pirate`s locker room is who is going to catch, Endy or Henry Davis? I have no inside knowledge, but my thinking as a Pirates fan is that they brought up Davis before Rodríguez because of his bat, and that they wanted Endy to get more reps behind the plate and left him down in Triple-A to gain experience, with the long-term plan of Endy being the primary catcher.

He can be a top 12 catcher in short order, he has a plus hit-tool, sneaky power, and a great sense of the strike-zone.

(Ryan Epperson)

Jacob Misiorowski, 21, SP/RP, Brewers, AA

Ohhh how he wowed those of us lucky enough to have the Peacock app in the Future`s Game this year. He really stole the show throwing just absolute heat and making most of the AL Future`s look just plain silly. In part because of this showing, he has been bumped WAAYYY up prospect rankings and is anointed as the second-coming of… I don`t know, someone really good. He certainly has a chance, he has a long, lanky frame that he`s still growing into and routinely sits 99+ with his fastball and two secondaries that will be plus as well.

There is heavy reliever risk with him I, and a lot of other analysts believe. Until he shows he can control the zone better he will never make it as a starter. He excelled in Single-A this year posting a K-BB% of 33.7% which propelled him to High-A after only 26 innings. From High-A, Misiorowski `s strike out rate fell, and his walks rose, where his K-BB% sank to 13.2%. Still, the Brewers saw enough to promote Misiorowski to Double-A after the excellent showing at the Future`s Game.

There is a solid floor for him as a high-leverage reliever, and I fear the Brewer`s will plug him into the bullpen this season to be just that for the stretch run, which may explain why they promoted him aggressively to Double-A after a mundane performance at High-A. Of course, this has worked out in the past (see: Price, David) but not always. Maybe the Brewer`s don’t do that and have him continue to refine his craft at Double-A and to increase his workload. With them leading the division, and uncharacteristically down years from the Cardinals and Cubs, this may be as good a shot as any the Brewers will have to advance deep into the playoffs, and Misiorowski could play a huge role for them.

(Ryan Epperson)

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Ryan Epperson

Ryan Epperson

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