Or just let him go in the draft this year.
I know the above scenarios are unreasonable, unlikely, and damn near impossible, but considering how good Rodon is, why must we wait to see him play professional baseball? Aside from Touki Toussaint (prep RHP), it is hard to see someone else at the top of the 2014 Draft right now, and nothing has changed in that regard over the past year. Barring the unfortunate (I refuse to type the obvious here, and I’m not even that superstitious), nothing will change over the next year either.
Unlike other (far-away from the draft) projected #1 picks from years past, Rodon has the polish, stuff, and frame you want in a front-line starter coming out of the college ranks (and the excellent raw peripheral numbers to boot).
Thinking along the same lines, Rodon does not have any of the flaws that guys like the Appel’s and Gausman’s of the world (not to say that those arms, or similar arms, are not very talented). Many other college pitchers either lack the requisite command, quality third pitch, deception, or strong enough breaking ball to be sure-fire major leaguers. So often you see excellent prospects that show plus (plus) velocity and an above-average secondary pitch, or vise versa, but they lack the entire package that could make them a successful starting pitcher.
This isn’t the case with the NC State lefty. You look at his fastball, and it has life, velocity, and tends to get on hitters faster than most out of his hand. You look at his secondary offerings, and see a crazy-good cutter, quality change-up, and a curve and slider that both have their own special qualities. The cutter and change are the two likely secondary pitches that a pro team will have Rodon stick with, but his slider could always be a weapon he utilizes from time to time. Point being, he has a feel for 5 pitches which one could argue are (or are close to being) all above-average or better. And oh yeah, did I mention this is all from a lefty?
The fact that he has such a solid feel for pitching already, along with such outstanding stuff and composure on the mound makes it borderline aggravating that we cannot see him throw pro innings. It seems wasteful (and maybe counter-intuitive) when Rodon could be developing futher as a pitcher by facing tougher competition in the low minors (or even higher). But then you remember that he is a college student and we should all just leave him alone until he’s good and ready. And if Rodon was that eager to face major league hitters, he would have transferred to a JUCO program by now so he could be draft-eligible. Either way, I’m sure the Astros would be rather happy to see his name with the words “draft eligible” next to it for 2013.