2013 Season Review: INF Henry Rodriguez Thomas Felsmaier January 6, 2014 11 Comments Henry Rodriguez spent the majority of the season in Louisville’s infield. The 23-year old got some playing time in Cincinnati, but mostly as a pinch hitter. Starting out, Rodriguez found it difficult to find any consistency. He started April by hitting safely in the first three games against Toledo, but they were all one-hit games. On April 9th, against Columbus, he collected his first multi-hit game of the season as he went 3-4 with 2 RBI. From the 12th to the 18th, he hit safely in 4 of 6 games in which he went 6-25 with 3 doubles, 5 strikeouts, and no walks. He did end the month with better contact. In the last 8 games of the month, he hit 9-30 with a double, drew one walk, and struck out 5 times. A slow start to the season brought about a .223/.277/.287 line. He walked just 6 times while striking out 19 times. May was almost the opposite of April as Rodriguez was as consistent as could be. He was able to get on base in 23 of his 28 games during the month. In the first 12 games, he batted 18-50 with 3 doubles, a home run, 4 walks, and 3 strikeouts. On the 14th in Charlotte, he went 0-5 in the game but it was his 11th consecutive games without striking out. While he did strikeout on the 15th, he also started a 8-game hit streak. During that stretch, he went 12-37 with 2 doubles and 2 home runs, but struck out 6 times without drawing a walk. He ended the month going just 5 of 24 where all his hits were singles. His month of May overall was impressive and saw a .302/.344/.422 line. He walked just 6 times again, but thanks to the 11-game stretch, he stuck out only 12 times. Rodriguez got into 4 games with Louisville to start June. In those games, he collected 8 singles in 19 at bats. Then, he got into 2 games with Cincinnati starting on the 7th. In both games, he was a pinch hitter and was unable to get on base. He was sent back to Louisville and struggled to get his bat back to the production it had in May. From the 14th of the month on, he was only able to gather 10 hits in 51 at bats. June was a step back for Rodriguez as his .250/.270/.306 line would indicate. Plus, he only walked twice and swung and missed 11 times. The struggles of June were carried over to July. He fought to hit and even get on base for the vast majority of the month. From the 1st to the 23rd, he hit just 10-77 with a double, a walk, and 14 strikeouts. The last week of the month saw a bit of a turnaround. He was able to get on base in 6 of the 7 games and go 9-25. While he did not get an extra base hit, he walked 3 times and struck out the same. The month as a whole was less then impressive. He compiled a .186/.222/.196 line and totaled 17 strikeouts to just 4 walks. August was Rodriguez’s best month at the plate. The little success he saw at the end of July was magnified to start August. He hit safely in his first 6 games of the month and went 12-19 with a double, 4 walks, and just one strikeout. On the 7th and 8th, he went 0-4 in both games and struck out 3 times. Then, he was back at it and hit 14-31 in his next 8 games. To end the month, he hit better then average. From the 18th on, he swatted 12-38 with a double, 4 walks, and 3 strikeouts. His grand month of August included a .396/.454/.438 line. He was able to amass 10 walks and 11 strikeouts. Rodriguez spent the entire month of September in Cincinnati, but was hardly used as anything more then a pinch hitter. He got into 7 games and hit just 1-7 with a walk and 3 strikeouts. Season Stats Team PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB K AVG OBP SLG OPS Louisville 514 478 131 17 0 4 41 6 5 28 69 .274 .319 .335 .654 Cincinnati 10 9 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 4 .111 .200 .111 .311 Overall Thoughts Over the past two years some of the shine has worn off of Rodriguez as he has failed to carry the .300+ average he had at every other level besides AAA. At this point he appears to be in the process of heading down the road as a bit of an infield super-sub who can play third, second and shortstop in a pinch who will bring a bat off of the bench that can probably make some contact for you from either side of the plate to help neutralize the opposing bullpen. For more 2013 Season Review articles, click here. 11 Responses Norwood Nate January 6, 2014 He has lost a little luster as a prospect lately. If he could play a better SS he’d probably be up already. KyWilson1 January 6, 2014 He’s barely an ok 2b defender. He need to rake if he wants to be anything for then a bench player. Norwood Nate January 7, 2014 How much do you have to rake to be better than Izturis/Valdez/etc? He can play 3 IF positions and switch hit. That’s pretty good flexibility. Regardless of his defensive acumen, he’ll eventually figure out how to be somewhat productive offensively, either getting OB or hitting for decent average. So, if he could be a viable back up SS, he’d be up already. A bench player, sure, but a big league bench player. That’s all I’m saying. KyWilson1 January 7, 2014 He cant play SS, he barely plays well enough at 2b to stay there defensively, his bat is going to be his calling card not his defense. Im not saying hes not better then those two, but he cant play SS like those two. He is a 2b/3b. Doug Gray January 7, 2014 In an absolute pinch, he can play shortstop. With Cozart, you don’t need someone who can start 45 times at short, so I get the idea behind having him as the backup at the MLB level for an off day here and there, but having someone else in AAA in case there is an injury to Cozart. KyWilson1 January 7, 2014 If you only need someone in there for a pinch then Frazier can do it. HRod cant be your back up bench option at SS for an entire season. If he is you’d better pray to the baseball gods that Cozart can play 162 games.I’d rather see Phillips or Hamilton be slid over there then HRod,. Doug Gray January 7, 2014 HRod won’t be your actual backup. He will just be the guy who plays there once every three weeks. Frazier/Phillips/Hamilton can’t be the backup because they have actual positions. KyWilson1 January 7, 2014 Just doesnt look good to me. The Cardinals are better than the Reds at just about every position on the diamond, and some by a lot(LF,C, possibly SS). So the Reds will most likely be playing for a wild card spot against the Braves Dodgers Rockies Giants Diamondbacks Nationals and Pirates. As it stand i see the this Division winners-Cards, Nationals, Dodgers. Wildcards Diamondbacks, Braves. They snuck into the playoffs last year and made no moves to improve at any position on the field. Doug Gray January 8, 2014 The bench won’t be the difference in any scenario then. The Reds can improve, if Hamilton doesn’t fall flat on his face, Cueto stays healthy and Ludwick plays like it’s 2012. KyWilson1 January 8, 2014 Their bench is what needed to improve the most, especially so they have a platoon partner if needed in LF. The Cards weak spots CF and 2b both have very capable back ups now on the bench or to platoon with Ellis and Bourjos, with thump from Matt Adams, and 2 options to back up Peralta at SS. The Priates have tons of young talent to blend as well with Polanco-Tallion-Henson-Glasnow-Kingman, with a young core. The Reds upper minors is pretty bare, so they need to trade their expensive talent soon to stay competitive in the future. Norwood Nate January 7, 2014 I believe you’re over-stating his inability to play 2B. He’s not Phillips but I would think he’s Daniel Murphy/Dan Uggla territory either. Regardless, I think we’re in agreement that his shortcomings at SS are hindering his ability to be on the bench. Of course, as Doug said, you don’t necessarily have to carry an extra SS, just someone who can fill in in a pinch in case of injury. After one game a roster move can be made and an actual SS could be brought up. If HRod were to make the team as a utility IF, it would be due to his hitting/flexibility not his defense. And for a team that needs all the offensive options it can get, I’d take that.