Steven Kwan, Ramon Laureano, and Myles Straw are two phenomenal defenders in the outfield.
There is no question about that, and there is hardware to prove it.
However, none of those players are known for their power.
Laureano does have some, plus some speed, and Kwan offers some contact and on-base ability.
When it comes to sheer, raw, home run power, the unit is very much lacking.
That’s why fans are clamoring for outfield help: the Guardians need a power hitter (or two, to be fair), and the most obvious position to upgrade is the outfield.
What many people don’t know, however, is that they might have a viable internal solution.
Johnathan Rodriguez is an outfielder, hits for power, and is very close to the majors.
He is currently helping his team in the Puerto Rican winter league, and showing off his pop.
“#Guardians 24yr old OF prospect Johnathan Rodriguez annihilates a baseball tonight with a solo HR in the 6th inning for his club @CarolinaLBPRC in their 4-to-2 game 1 win in the @LBPRC playoffs,” Guardians Prospective tweeted.
#Guardians 24yr old OF prospect Johnathan Rodriguez annihilates a baseball tonight with a solo HR in the 6th inning for his club @CarolinaLBPRC in their 4-to-2 game 1 win in the @LBPRC playoffs.#ForTheLand pic.twitter.com/halAJjgXcS
— Guardians Prospective (@CleGuardPro) January 3, 2024
He even pulled off Josh Naylor’s “rocking the baby” home run celebration upon reaching home plate to score the run.
It’s his third home run of the winter season for Rodriguez, who is hitting .269/.363/.359 for Gigantes de Carolina.
Rodriguez, however, had an amazing year in the Guardians’ upper minors.
He hit 29 home runs between Double-A and Triple-A, with a cool .286/.368/.529 line between the two levels.
He does strike out a lot, but if he can keep his average at least in the .240 range as a major leaguer, he will carve out a nice career for himself thanks to his power and patience, and could help solve the organization’s offensive issues.