DERECK Ivan Dereck RODRIGUEZ
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Nickname:   N/A Position:   RHP
Home: N/A Team:   GIANTS
Height: 6' 0" Bats:   R
Weight: 210 Throws:   R
DOB: 6/5/1992 Agent: N/A
Uniform #: 57  
Birth City: Arlington, TX
Draft: Twins #6 - 2011 - Out of high school (FL)
YR LEA TEAM SAL(K) G IP H SO BB GS CG SHO SV W L OBA ERA
2014 APP ELIZABETHTON   17 25.2 19 19 8 0 0 0 5 2 2 0.211 1.05
2015 APP ELIZABETHTON   12 66.1 64 61 11 12 0 0 0 6 3   2.85
2015 MWL CEDAR RAPIDS   2 7 9 3 6 2 0 0 0 0 1   9.00
2015 FSL FORT MYERS   1 2 1 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0   0.00
2016 FSL FORT MYERS   5 31.2 29 18 2 5 0 0 0 1 2   2.56
2016 MWL CEDAR RAPIDS   18 101 98 93 38 18 0 0 0 4 11   5.08
2017 SL CHATTANOOGA   15 75.1 74 62 27 13 0 0 0 5 4   3.94
2017 FSL FORT MYERS   11 68 59 59 11 11 1 0 0 5 2   2.51
2018 NL GIANTS $545.00 19 109.1 85 86 32 17 0 0 0 6 4 0.211 2.30
2018 PCL SACRAMENTO   9 50.1 49 53 11 9 0 0 0 4 1   3.40
2019 CAL SAN JOSE   1 4.2 4 9 1 1 0 0 0 0 0   3.86
2019 PCL SACRAMENTO   6 29.2 26 28 10 6 0 0 0 3 0   3.64
2019 NL GIANTS   28 99 108 71 36 16 0 0 0 6 11 0.271 5.64
Personal
  • Rodriguez's father, Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez built a Hall-of-Fame-caliber career. In 2011, the Twins drafted Dereck out of Pace High School in Florida.

  • February 4, 2017: Puerto Rico righthander Dereck Rodriguez was in the room when the National Baseball Hall of Fame came calling for his father, former catcher Ivan Rodriguez. Dereck was there when his father cried tears of joy. He shed a few tears, too.

    "When he finally got the call, it was something amazing to see after all of the sacrifices that he made and the sacrifices we made as family with him traveling," said Rodriguez, 24, a Minor League pitcher for the Twins. "Seeing him get that call was nice."

    The younger Rodriguez, who is pitching for the Criollos de Caguas in the Caribbean Series this week, grew up in clubhouses across the Major Leagues and around some of the biggest names. Now, he's determined to make a name for himself.

    "It's a different lifestyle, but it's been fun," Dereck said. "You grow up around baseball, and you learn a lot. I love it. There is no pressure. [Ivan] was a catcher, and I'm a pitcher. I was an outfielder. If people do put pressure on me, I don't feel it. I've learned to ignore it."

  • In 2011, the Twins selected Dereck as an outfielder. The plan was to groom him as a five-tool outfielder. But plans changed.

    Rodriguez hit .216/.279/.336 in parts of four seasons in the Twins' system, eventually moving from the outfield to the mound in 2014 because of his struggles at the plate. Having a strong right arm didn't hurt, either. A quick study, Rodriguez was named the Appalachian League's Pitcher of the Year in 2015 after going 6-3 with a 2.85 ERA and 61 strikeouts in 12 starts for Elizabethton in Rookie ball.

    In 2016, Rodriguez went 1-2 with a 2.56 ERA, 18 strikeouts and two walks for Class A Advanced Fort Myers in the Florida State League, and 4-11 with a 5.08 ERA in 18 starts for Class A Cedar Rapids. "It's been a fun ride. A fun three years so far," Dereck said. "In the beginning, it was a little tough, but I just kept working hard, and now I'm here pitching in the Caribbean Series for the first time."

    Rodriguez posted a 2-1 record with a 1.02 ERA and 13 strikeouts in 13 relief appearances this winter for Mayaguez in the Puerto Rican League. ."It's a great experience. The people and the fans are amazing," Dereck said. "There are no words that can express being on that mound and representing your country against other guys that are also representing their country. There's a lot of heart that goes into these games."

    Rodriguez has a fastball that hovers in the 90-93-mph range. He has only been on the mound for a few years, so his secondary pitches are understandably a work in progress. However, unlike most Minor League pitchers, Rodriguez has a Hall of Fame catcher for a father who can show him the ins and outs of being a professional pitcher.

    "Hopefully, I can go in and compete for a Double-A spot, and then after that, we'll see what happens," Dereck said. "Everybody's goal is to make it to the big leagues at the end of the year. I can control what happens on the field and leave the front office to their decisions."At least one thing is certain: Dereck will be there when his father is inducted into the Hall of Fame in July.

    "It's going to be really fun," Dereck said. "I get to spend a couple of days in New York, in Cooperstown. I'll take it all in being around all of those legends.It will be just like old times." (J Sanchez - MLB.com - February 4, 2017)

  • In 2017, Dereck represented Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic.

  • The authenticators and folks happy to save souvenirs for Dereck after his Major League debut didn't miss much.  "They took my bat away, my batting gloves, pretty much everything I had on except my sliders [sliding pants]," Rodriguez said.

    From the Giants' perspective, Rodriguez's performance probably was the most redeeming aspect of their 11-4 loss to the Rockies. The son of Hall of Fame catcher Ivan Rodriguez who switched to pitching after beginning his professional career as an outfielder collected plenty of keepsakes, including the baseballs he threw for his first pitch and his first strikeout, as well as the one he drove to right field for his first hit, a fifth-inning RBI double.

    "It was awesome," Rodriguez said. "I hit for the first three years of my career and then I end up getting a base hit in my first big league game. So that was pretty cool." 

    Though Dereck yielded four runs and five hits in 3 1/3 innings, he performed capably, since Giants errors made three of the runs unearned.  It wasn't an entirely charmed night for Rodriguez. Colorado's Ian Desmond hit a line drive off his right calf in the Rockies' half of the fifth, ending his stint prematurely.

    "He had a good fastball, but he also had good secondary pitches," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.  (Haft - mlb.com - 5/29/2018)

  • Who says you can't go home again? Dereck returned to his roots to pitch for the Giants against the Marlins. 

    Rodriguez, the son of former Marlins star Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez, was home-schooled during his father's World Series championship year (2003) with Miami, so he said he was at the ballpark all the time. That was back when the Marlins played at Pro Player Stadium.

    "It was fun, a lot of good memories," said the younger Rodriguez. "But it's weird coming back here, because you're playing the same team, but it's a different stadium."

    Rodriguez lives in Plantation, 30 miles north of Miami, during the offseason.  Dereck graduated from high school in Miami.

    "I've got a lot of family and a lot of tickets [to give out]," Rodriguez said. "I'll be playing for free for a couple of days."

    Rodriguez said his dad would be at Marlins Park for the remainder of the series. He said he spent a lot of time in the batting cage growing up, and he never dreamed he'd be playing in the big leagues as a pitcher.

    "[Pitching] was different," Rodriguez said. "It was fun. It was a lot of work, but it paid off. Hopefully I can stay here for a lot of years."  (Sattell - mlb.com - 6/12/2018)

  • Dereck has impressed at least one Hall of Fame catcher ... and maybe even taken him aback a little, at least early.  "He's a giant surprise, to be honest with you, the way he has been pitching and the way he takes every start, the way he looks every start," Rodriguez's father, Ivan, said.  "Every time he pitches, more and more, he looks better. He's feeling better and doing great."

    Dereck Rodriguez had made six straight quality starts by August 5, 2018, and also had a scoreless three-inning relief appearance. He is 3-0 with a 1.49 ERA in that stretch, with 32 strikeouts and 12 walks in 42 1/3 innings. Opponents have hit .177 against him.

    Rodriguez was displaying the kind of control and command a catcher holds dear.  "He has a good idea of how to get people out," said Ivan Rodriguez, who has seen his son pitch four times in person and talks to him frequently.

    "Throw strikes, that's it. Strike one. He throws a lot of strikes. If you see the amount of pitches he throws per start, he's about 100-111. And out of those, over 60 strikes. When you throw strikes, you are going to get a lot of guys out."

    Dereck was promoted in May 2018 after the Giants' rotation suffered injuries. He takes his father's words to heart.  "He's a catcher, so he knows what I need to do to succeed up here," Rodriguez said. "Throwing strikes, getting ahead of hitters, quick outs. You are ahead in the count, it puts the hitter in a pretty bad spot."

    Like parents everywhere, Ivan Rodriguez admitted watching his child perform is a lot more difficult than actually being part of the competition.  "In the beginning, the first couple, yeah, I was nervous," he said, "but the other day I went to see him, I was more relaxed. He was doing great.

    "The thing that I saw was, all the starts he had were with [Buster] Posey behind the plate. This was one with [Nick Hundley], and he still did a great job. So his mindset is pretty good."  (Magruder - mlb.com - 8/5/2018)

  • 2018 season: The 26-year-old, who converted to pitching from playing the outfield, demonstrated his consistency by pitching at least six innings and allowing two or fewer runs in nine consecutive starts.

    What makes Rodriguez's story even more remarkable is that he did not pitch above Double-A in Minnesota's farm system last year. San Francisco signed him as a Minor League free agent last November.

  • January 5, 2019: One of the major differences between professional athletes and "everybody else" is the commitment to a rigorous workout plan, one that requires strong discipline, dedication and a willingness to get after it every day.

    Not "a couple times a week," like we all strive to do with our gym memberships. To remain in physical shape good enough to play baseball, for example, requires sticking to it throughout the winter months, the time after the World Series ends and before Spring Training starts up. 

    This may be the offseason, but as we've seen time and time again from MLB stars, there is #NoOffseason, whether smashing tires with sledgehammers, pushing trucks or just hitting the gym in general. Witness Giants righthander Dereck Rodriguez pushing a car as part of his workout plan in Puerto Rico. One of the major differences between professional athletes and "everybody else" is the commitment to a rigorous workout plan, one that requires strong discipline, dedication and a willingness to get after it every day.

    Not "a couple times a week," like we all strive to do with our gym memberships. To remain in physical shape good enough to play baseball, for example, requires sticking to it throughout the winter months, the time after the World Series ends and before Spring Training starts up.

    That's impressive stuff, truly. Pushing a car is a necessity sometimes when a battery dies, but doing it for fun—or as part of a stringent workout plan—is next-level. (A Garro - MLB.com - January 5, 2019)

  • When the Giants gave Dereck his first shot in the Majors in 2018, it didn’t take long for him to feel like he belonged. After all, he spent the first 16 years of his life in clubhouses following the career of his father, Hall of Fame catcher Ivan Rodriguez.

    “I was here at the field,” the younger Rodriguez said. “There wasn’t a lot of times that he was able to go to the field to go see me play, so I was just here the whole time. Just being around the guys at a big league stadium, that’s pretty much how I was with my dad in the baseball aspect. It was a lot of fun.”

    After his outings, Rodriguez often talks to his father, who can offer him insights gleaned from his 21 years of catching in the Majors for the Rangers, Tigers, Nationals, Yankees, Astros and Marlins.

    The best piece of advice he’s received?  “Just work hard,” Rodriguez said. “Outwork the other guy. Don’t ever take anything for granted. When you’re resting, there’s probably someone else working out. So always work hard and be on your toes.”  (Guardado - mlb.com - 6/16/2019)

    TRANSACTIONS

  • June 2011: The Twins chose Dereck in the 6th round, out of Pace High School in Florida.
  • November 15, 2017: Dereck signed as a free agent with the Giants.
Pitching
  • Rodriguez has a 91-94 mph FASTBALL, 83-86 mph SLIDER, and a CHANGEUP.

  • 2018 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball: 37.1% of the time; Sinker 16.2%; Change 16.5%; Slider 11.4%; and Curve 18.8% of the time. Average velocity: 4-seam 92.3 mph, Sinker 91.4, Change 85, Slider 86.5, and Curve 76.1 mph.

  • Dereck pitched well in 2014. "He's got plenty of velocity and he throws strikes,” vice president of player personnel Mike Radcliff said. “He’s got a fastball that gives him a real chance to climb the ladder.It’s a question of how good his (offspeed stuff )—change, slider, whatever he ends up with—turns out to be.”

  • 2018: Key stat: 3.9 percent barrel rate.

    Rodriguez was the Giants' best starter in 2018, outpitching Madison Bumgarner in a similar number of innings (118). The 26-year-old didn't generate a ton of strikeouts or ground balls but nonetheless made it difficult for opponents to square him up for barrels—the most dangerous form of contact, according to Statcast™, based on exit velocity and launch angle.

    Rodriguez's barrel rate tied Carlos Martinez for third lowest in MLB (minimum 300 batted balls), behind only Noah Syndergaard and Mike Montgomery, and just ahead of NL Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom. (Andrew Simon- MLB.com -December 29, 2018)

  • Derek talks about the evolution of his changeup: “Outside of a fastball, a changeup was the first pitch I learned how to throw. Right from the start, it was a matter of repetitions, just to get a feel for it. Now it’s a circle change, your standard two-seam circle, and I learned it from my dad. Originally it was more of a splitter variation. But after not even a full month of pitching . . . I mean, learning a splitter right off the bat was maybe not the best idea. Obviously, I was making a transition [from a position player to a pitcher].

    “I started pitching in 2014. That’s when the whole process started. Growing up, my parents had never really wanted me to be a pitcher. My dad always wanted me to just run around, and play any other position. I guess he felt that pitchers, early on… arm problems, and stuff like that. I only pitched seven innings when I was in high school. All I threw was straight fastballs. Back then I threw almost the same as… actually, I probably threw a little harder in high school. I was whippier. I used to just blow it by kids.

    “My changeup actually depends a lot on my fastball. If I’m kind of all over the place that day with my fastball, my changeup is probably not going to be there. It’s very dependent on my fastball release point. The velo on it tends to fluctuate. The changeup I want on most days is 81-84 [mph], but some days it’s 84-86. I prefer having the bigger separation.

    “Again, the first changeup grip they taught me was more of a splitter. My dad didn’t like it — he was concerned about my elbow — and I felt like it was kind of weird, anyway. So we changed it up to a circle change. The grip is middle finger and ring finger over the two seams, and my thumb is right underneath the ball. Then I place the other two right next to it, and try to throw it as hard as I can with the middle and ring fingers. I hold it loose, like an egg. My dad taught me the basic grip, but from there everything else was me playing around with it. From that, I came up with what I’ve got.” (David Laurila - Fangraphs - November 12, 2019)

  • As of the start of the 2020 season, Dereck had a career record of 12-15 with a 4.10 ERA, having allowed 30 home runs and 206 hits in 217 innings.
Career Injury Report
  • August 13-24, 2018: Derek was on the DL with hammy strain.