Julio Rodriguez was a decent pitching prospect, but by no means was he the cream of the crop. Instead, Rodriguez was a face in the crowded crop of young pitchers all jockeying for minor league spots this spring in minor league camp. That glut and a need for some minor league outfielders, led the Phillies to deal Rodriguez to Baltimore for outfielder Ron Welty.
Rodriguez, 22, was 7-7, 4.23 in 29 games - 22 starts - at Double-A Reading last season. He came into 2013 ranked as the 19th best prospect in the Phillies organization.
Welty, 25, has played all three outfield positions, but is primarily a right fielder. The Orioles drafted Welty in the 20th round of the 2008 Draft and over five minor league seasons, Welty has hit a combined 67-307-.284/.359/.468, playing as high as Double-A in the Orioles organization.
Welty is an average defensive outfielder, who sometimes takes bad routes to the ball. He does have above average arm strength. At the plate, he's something of a free swinger and is known for being athletic and hard-nosed on the field, which has drawn some comparisons to former Phillies' outfielder Hunter Pence.
Last season, Welty was limited to just 56 games because of injuries and played at four different levels thanks to rehab assignments.
It's likely that Welty will start the season at Double-A Reading, but he could be placed with Lehigh Valley.
Ron Welty's career stats