SALISBURY, Maryland (KTRE) - Nineteen year-old Grayson Rodriguez played in his first professional All-Star game Tuesday night.
The Nacogdoches native started the game for the North All-Stars in the South Atlantic League All-Star game. Rodriguez gave up one hit and no runs.
So far this season Rodriguez is 6-1 with a 2.42 ERA and 72 strikeouts in his 10 games he has started.
“We are having great year as a team and winning lots of games,” Rodriguez said. “We have been having lots of fun doing it. I couldn’t be happier."
The Delmarva Shorebirds, the single A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles went 48-21 through the first half of their season. It was good enough for first place in the SAL North division which means the team has cinched a spot in the playoffs.
It is a welcomed sign of success for the Baltimore organization with the Orioles on track to miss the playoffs for the third straight season. Delmarva has a strong group of prospects with Rodriguez being near the top of the list.
“It didn’t take long to get settled in,” Rodriguez said. “It was a smooth transition. I have fun going out and throwing every sixth day.”
Baltimore does look to invest in their future and they did that last year when they drafted Rodriguez out of Central Heights High School in the first round of the MLB Draft. In November of 2018, Baltimore lured Mike Elias away from the Houston Astros and hired him as the new general manager.
Elias was big in the signing of Astros stars Carlos Correa and Alex Bregman. It is easy to see his involvement in helping build a team with Astros GM Jeff Luhnow that in a matter of a few seasons went from the bottom of the American League to winning the World Series in 2017. Elias is looking to get that same model of success going in Baltimore.
“He has done some great things so far,” Rodriguez said. “He has only been here for a short period of time. We are headed in the right direction. I am excited to see what Baltimore has in store.”
Rodriguez is adjusting to life outside of the Pineywoods of East Texas. The biggest adjustment on the Eastern Shore has been the use of grab in almost every food. While he likes his surroundings, he knows that in minor league baseball things can change quickly and he could be called up to a higher affiliation.
“You have to live day to day I guess,” Rodriguez said. Something can happen at any moment but you can only control what you can control."