The Cincinnati Reds had been linked to Cuban shortstop Alfredo Rodriguez since November of 2015. They reportedly agreed to terms with him in January, but he didn’t officially sign with the Reds until July. When he did sign it was for a franchise record $7M. That amount also led to penalties and fines on every other player that the organization signed from that point forward.

It had been 16 months since Alfredo Rodriguez had last played a competitive game when he joined the Dominican Summer League Reds on July 12th. Things started out well for the 22-year-old shortstop. He went 6-13 (.462) with two walks and two doubles in his first four games. Rodriguez went into a slump after that, going 3-20 (.150) over the following six games. In that final game of that stretch he was hit by a pitch and replaced in the game. He wouldn’t play over the next two weeks. That would finish July with a .273/.366/.333 line with three walks and eight strikeouts in 41 plate appearances.

Alfredo Rodriguez returned to the lineup on August 8th. In his first three games back he went 5-15with two steals. Things went south after that, going 0-14 in the next four games. He rebounded from that slump by going 4-15  with five walks and two doubles (.829 OPS) in the next five games. That stretch ended the season for the shortstop. In two week of play in August he hit .205/.308/.273 with six walks and eight strikeouts.

After signing in early July Alfredo Rodriguez played two stretches of not-quite two weeks in the Dominican Summer League, a league that he was four years older than the average player. His OPS of .632 was below the league average (.654), though he had limited action that was even further split up.

DSL 93 5 0 0 9 9 16 .234 .333 .299

For all 2017 Prospect Ranking Scouting Reports – click here (these will come out one per weekday over the offseason).

Alfredo Rodriguez Scouting Report


Hitting | The early returns on Rodriguez at the plate weren’t promising in his first taste of professional baseball. There were tons of concerns about his ability to hit when he signed and while he’s certainly added some strength since his time in Cuba, several scouts who saw him in instructional league were still questioning his ability to hit.

Power | There’s not much power for Rodriguez now or in the future. While there may be a tad more power than he showed in 2016, he’s at the bottom of the scale when it comes power output.

Running | This is the one place where he stands out offensively. He’s an above-average to plus speed guy who, if he can get on base, could steal plenty of bases.

Arm | His arm is average to slightly above-average. It plays fine at shortstop, but it doesn’t stand out at the position.

Defense | When he signed he was said to be a plus, to maybe even plus-plus defender. Reports from instructional league weren’t as rosy as that. While they still saw him as a guy with above-average range, he wasn’t nearly as polished or smooth as expected based on those previous reports.

From day one the signing was a bit of a head scratcher in terms of the amount that was paid to bring Alfredo Rodriguez in. He’s an all-glove, no hit, but still quite raw player who got premium money to sign on with the organization. He can run and he can play defense at the big league level right now, but there are some serious questions about whether he’s ever going to be able to hit enough to be able to utilize any value with his glove or legs. He’s going to have to show big improvements at the plate in 2017 as he comes to the United States and faces a large step up in competition.


19 Responses

  1. Hoyce

    Still say this was the worst signing of any team for the entire year. I can’t wrap my head around that if the Reds didn’t offer maitan the same money that he wouldn’t have signed w Reds. Even if he was buscones driven or something else. Wouldn’t it be beneficial for all involved to get more money?
    And to go into penalty because of alfrod…. Just don’t get it
    But as much as I hated this signing. Loved the Rodriguez one

  2. Hoyce

    Doug- care to discuss some of the trades and/or trade rumors that have happened?
    The sale trade- I say the white sox did great in that one. That was a lot to give up
    And the Cubs are reportedly giving up soler for one year of wade Davis. That seems steep price for one year controls
    Name some names on who u think Reds will get via trade or FA. I still say neftali feliz would be a good get. He will cost a little, but a good flip candidate at decline for more assets. And take a flyer On drew storen. He’s a good bounce back guy as I see it. And should be cheap
    Sell high on straily and Duvall.
    Trade cozy (Padres looking at u)if anyone interested. And please dump BP, Angels need him

    • Doug Gray

      Pure trade speculation without knowing what teams are interested in what players, that’s way too time involved for me.

  3. Krozley

    On the subject of international signing pools, the amounts have been released for 2017/18 with three groups supposedly based on market size and revenue. The Reds are in the 6-team middle group, allotted $5.25MM. They are 28th in market size and 23rd in revenues, both in the bottom 8. MIlwaukee and Tampa Bay are in the same situation. There are 8 teams in the $5.75MM group, including the Cardinals (24th in market size and 8th in revenues), the Pirates (27th/17th), Padres (23rd/18th) and the Orioles (7th in market size although shared with the Nats, and 22nd in revenues). The Cardinals are also the 7th most valuable franchise in mlb. How does it make sense that the Cardinals and those other 3 teams that have bigger markets and more revenues get a higher international allotment than the Reds, Rays, and Brewers?

    • Bradkon21

      To my knowledge, it is based on Competitive Balance draft selections. Reds and other 5 listed are in CB A, therefore get a smaller International draft pool.

      • Krozley

        Thanks Brad. I feel better. So, the 8 teams that get $5.75MM, get a compB pick and the 6 teams that get $5.25MM get a compA pick. Last year, the average slot value for compA picks was $865.5M higher than compB, so that does give those 6 teams more money to work with overall. And that is better for the Reds next year given their international restrictions. Still wish the Cardinals didn’t get any bonuses.

  4. Arnold Ziffle

    That as $7M wasted. Jocketty’s final folly.
    How many years of decent salaries and catered meals for all the Reds minor league teams and players would that $7M have provided??

  5. terry m

    This MLB money thing is really getting me down. The $ being spent is getting out of hand. In Red sox trade for Sale they even had to pay the bonus Moncada got. How in the world are small market teams going to compete ?? The division between big and small markets is getting WIDER !

    Just wonder if the Reds would have made Chapman a starter and he turned out to be really good but not as good as Sale. What could we have gotten for him as a good SP ?? The Chapman thing was a mess from the start and ended that way.

    MLB needs to wise up as a lot of older baseball fans are dying out and I don’t think the younger generation are more into other types of entertaining events.

    I watch and read more about the minors because MLB is geared to money teams.

    A tired fan of over 55 years !!!!

    • Doug Gray

      The players deserve more money. The players are only getting 42% of baseball revenues. They used to get 50%.

      The TV money does make the distance between big/small markets larger, which sucks. But the small market teams could do something about it if they wanted to, but they seem happy collecting their luxury tax checks.

      • terry m

        I don’t blame the player I just don’t like the GAP between the have and have nots that’s all !

  6. Colt Holt

    Reds to receive Comp pick after first round again this year per Jonathan Mayo

    • Greenfield Red

      I’ll say this. The guy has an elite glove. If he can hit his weight, he will be an everyday major leaguer. If he can hit better than that, he will be a big asset.

      I remember a rookie shortstop in 1970. He wasn’t much of a hitter at the time , but was a great fielder. He ended up being a Reds Hall of Famer, a major part of the Big Red Machine, and a pretty good hitter all while he revolutionized the position on defense in some ways.

      I’d like us to give it some time before we tar and feather everyone associated with this transaction. Just my opinion. Someone saw something really good in this kid.

      • Doug Gray

        The difference between that shortstop and this one was the largest signing bonus ever handed out by the team, that also cost them more money beyond that since it meant 100% overage penalties on everyone else that they signed, which wound up being an additional $6-7M, and cost the team the ability to be players in the market for two years, and paying what was likely next to nothing to sign the other guy.

  7. Norwood Nate

    I’ll echo those that are questioning this signing. It didn’t make any sense at the time and has only looked worse since. With the amount of money involved and lack of track record , this may be the worst FA signing I can remember.

    • DaveCT

      The signing certainly is the highest risk if not yet the worst. I can give more justification to a higher risk signing if there is a plus plus tool like power, hit tool, or fastball. But this seems excessive since the noted tool is ‘only’ defense, albeit at a premium position. Guess without some type of offensive tool to speak of, Rodriguez’ deal seems weaker and less justifiable.

  8. Franklin Hall

    I have never understood this signing. Why would the Reds invest so much bonus and penalty to sign him. With all the shortstops in their system, I can see no justification here. Maybe some team has a Javier Molina coming and few shortstop prospects. Then a trade of that reasoning would work.

  9. Troy

    Doug, did u talk to anybody in the org about this signing? I wonder if the scouting department was all in or if there were some that thought it was questionable to hand out $7 mil to a player with AlfRod’s profile.

    • Doug Gray

      Most of the people I talked to about him were outside of the organization who saw him in instructional league.