2019 DiamondDawgs catcher CJ Rodriguez was drafted in the fifth round, 158th overall by the Oakland Athletics on Monday.
A draft-eligible sophomore, Rodriguez is regarded as one of the best defensive catchers in the country and excels at blocking, framing, throwing and managing a pitching staff. Plus, he has experience managing two of the best college pitchers in the country.
Rodriguez has been less consistent with the bat. He excels at making contact and plate discipline — he walks nearly twice as much as he strikes out — but lacks power and doesn’t hit for a high average. In 2021, he slashed .249/.393/.378. He had the fewest strikeouts of any Commodore regular and was third on the team in on-base percentage.
With three more years of eligibility remaining, Rodriguez may opt to sign or return to school in hopes of improving at the plate; he has until Aug. 1 to make a decision. Regardless, he has all the skills to succeed as a defensive-minded catcher.