It is always fun at the beginning of a season to see guys jump on to our radar in the Braves’ farm system that we weren’t anywhere close to expecting. That is what happened with pitcher Roddery Munoz with low-A Augusta. The results for the season were very much a mixed bag, but with his arm speed and raw stuff, he has some big time potential even if his future may be in the bullpen.
Midseason Report Card: We had Roddery in our honorable mentions section when we put out our Top 30 Braves prospect list at midseason. It seems probable that he will stay there on our preseason list which will come out later this offseason.
Roddery Munoz 2021 Season Stats: 8 G (6 GS), 29.2 IP, 6.67 ERA, 11 BB, 33 K
What we saw in 2021: Roddery had a lot of us VERY excited after his first start where he was hitting 99 MPH with his fastball and making hitters look silly. At its best, Roddery’s fastball is up there with the best in the entire system, although it was more inconsistent as the season went on. The slider and changeup are works in progress, but the slider does get some swing and miss. It was a bit surprising to see a guy who throws as hard as Roddery does get hit more than you would expect. Unfortunately, the bigger issue is keeping Roddery on the field as he had two stints on the disabled list last season and he did not appear in a game after July 22. At this moment in time, we don’t know what the injury is that cost him so much time, but that is definitely worth monitoring as we get into next season.
What the future holds: The biggest question at the moment is whether Roddery is healthy and we just don’t know one way or the other right now. Beyond that, he has a really live fastball with two secondaries that are going to need some development. Given the health issues and his profile, we would not be shocked if he ended up as a bullpen arm, but one with high leverage reliever ceiling assuming he can stay healthy, get his slider a grade higher, and command his fastball consistently.