2011 Dodgers Player Profile: Rubby De La Rosa, A Real Gem

Rubby De La Rosa throwing at the Dodgers Winter Development Program

Rubby De La Rosa went from a relatively unknown to a top Dodger prospect in 2010.  While there were rumors early in 2009 that De La Rosa had a fastball that could reach the upper 90’s, he only logged 16 innings that season in the Arizona Rookie League and had a 6.06 ERA.  Therefore, very few people knew who he was heading into 2010.  That all changed this past May when reports starting coming out of Michigan that Rubby was hitting 100 mph for the Great Lakes Loons.  One radar gun reading even had him touch 102 mph, and he was complimenting his heater with a plus changeup and solid slider.  Seeing his potential, the Dodgers promoted De La Rosa to AA in late July and he got off to a great start in Chattanooga.  He didn’t allow a run in his first two starts, and then his best performance came in his third start when he gave up just one hit over 7 innings.  In total, Rubby made eight starts for the Lookouts and had a 1.41 ERA.  He overall season performance earned De La Rosa the honor of Dodger minor league pitcher of the year, and he also received an invite to big league spring training for 2011. 

Rubby’s success in 2010 helped him move way up on the Dodger prospect rankings.  He was voted as the #4 Dodger prospect on this website, and was #3 on Baseball America’s list.  I also have him in my top 10, and you’ll find where exactly I have him ranked in a few days.  For now, here is an excerpt from what I’ve written about him:

Rubby joined the Loons in late April, and was initially in the Loons bullpen where he picked up 6 saves.  After he was stretched out a bit, RDLA joined the Great Lakes rotation and continued to show plus stuff.  He reached 100 mph with his fastball on multiple occasions, and showed a lot of potential with both his slider and changeup.  Loons manager Juan Bustabad said that Rubby reminded him of Pedro Martinez, although Rubby throws harder.  De La Rosa was promoted to AA in late July and spent the remainder of the season in Chattanooga.  He got off to a great start by not allowing an earned run in his first three starts, and after posting a 3.19 ERA in LoA RDLA actually lowered his ERA to 1.41 with the Lookouts.  After the season, Lookout manager Carlos Subero raved about Rubby’s ability to add extra velocity late in games, and compared De La Rosa to Edinson Volquez.  The one thing that worried me about Rubby’s season was that he jumped from 16 innings in 2009 to over 100 in 2010.  However, DeJon Watson put my worries to rest when he told me “The Dodgers are not concerned with his workload this year because he threw way more than the listed 16 innings in 2009…the 16 innings are just what you have listed in your book.”  Watson also said that “Rubby’s skill set is what caused the Dodgers to promote him to AA.  In particular, his poise, his demeanor, his fastball command, and his ability to make adjustments inning to inning and batter to batter.  He has come a long way in a short period of time.”

Trivia

The Dodgers 2010 media guide erroneously stated that Rubby De La Rosa was suspended during 2009 for violating the minor league drug policy.  Fortunately that was not true, and the Dodgers still don’t know how the error made its way into their guide.  However, De La Rosa did miss most of the 2009 season due to disciplinary reasons. 

Contract Status

Under team control.  If he isn’t added the Dodgers 40 man roster during the 2011 season, he will certainly be added next off-season because he’ll be eligible for the Rule 5 draft in December 2011.

Stats

Year Level Age IP W L ERA WHIP K K/9 BAA FIP

2007

DSL

18

6.0

0

0

13.50

3.50

6

9.0

.393

 

2008

DSL

19

47.1

1

4

1.71

1.16

51

9.7

.197

 

2009

Rookie

20

16.1

0

1

6.06

1.71

22

12.1

.266

2.89

2010

LoA

21

59.1

4

1

3.19

1.11

55

8.3

.223

3.12

2010

AA

21

51

3

1

1.41

1.56

39

6.9

.215

3.22

2011 Outlook

Rubby De La Rosa will almost certainly start the 2011 season in AA where he will continue to refine his game in the Lookouts rotation.  If he dominates during the first half of 2011 in AA, it’s not out of the question that he could make his way to Los Angeles before the end of the season where he could help the Dodgers either in the rotation or out of the bullpen.  If he is anything less than sensational, however, he’ll probably remain in Chattanooga all year. 

What are the TBLA community thoughts on when Rubby will make his major league debut?  Also, where do you predict that De La Rosa will spend the majority of his major league career; out of the bullpen or in the rotation?

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