The Cincinnati Reds spent a lot of money to sign Cuban shortstop Alfredo Rodriguez in July of 2016. He spent that first summer playing in the Dominican Summer League, reacquainting himself with the game after missing time between leaving Cuba and being able to sign. The Reds sent Rodriguez, then a 22-year-old, to Daytona to play shortstop for the Tortugas.

April got out to a solid start for Alfredo Rodriguez. In the first week he notched a hit in all seven games, going 9-30. His hitting streak ended the first day of the next week, but he hit .269 from the 14th through the 20th. It was the final eight games of the month that were a real struggle. Rodriguez went 3-31 with three walks and four strikeouts down the stretch. That left his line for the month at .218/.277/.230 with six walks and 17 strikeouts. There was a complete lack of power. Over his 94 plate appearances he managed just one extra-base hit, a double.

The month of May started with the same struggles for Alfredo Rodriguez, who went 5-26 (.192) in the first week. Things picked up after that. Over the next ten games he racked up a 10-game hitting streak, hitting .400 in that span (16-40) with two doubles. His hitting streak ended in the first game of a double header on the 20th, but he went 5-5 with two doubles in the second game. Over the final nine games he kept things going, hitting .306 in 36 at-bats. For as bad as April was, May went the opposite direction. Rodriguez hit .333/.368/.387. The lack of power was still present, though he did manage six doubles. He walked just six times, but also struck out just 17 times in 117 plate appearances.

June got out to a tough start for Alfredo Rodriguez. In the first week he went just 2-20 over four games played with five strikeouts. He broke out of that slump over the next three games, going 6-15 with his first home run of the season. Over the next week, though, Rodriguez only played in one game, going 0-2. After the All-Star break he got back into game action, but things remained slow. In 10 games played, half of them he went hitless in, hitting just .146 the rest of the way. Over the 18 games played during June, the shortstop hit .179/.217/.231 with just two extra-base hits.

After going hitless in the final four games of June, July got out to a hot start. In the first week of the month Alfredo Rodriguez went 9-25 (.360). Things ended abruptly that second week as he went just 3-26 in six games. He didn’t play for five days before returning to the lineup on the 19th, where he went 3-5. Over the final 11 games of the month though, he went just 8-44 (.182). That did include his second home run of the season. In his 105 plate appearances on the month, Rodriguez managed a .230/.257/.300 line with five extra-base hits.

August got out to a solid start for Alfredo Rodriguez, going 5-17 (.294) with a double and a walk. That didn’t carry forward into the next week as he had five hits in 28 at-bats (.179). The next week saw Rodriguez double his hit total for the month, going 10-25 (.400) on the week. The hot bat didn’t exactly carry forward over the final nine games of the season. The now 23-year-old hit just .243, going 9-37 the rest of the way. Over the final month of the season he hit .271, but came with a .322 on-base percentage and a .290 slugging percentage.

For all 2017 Season Reviews and Scouting Reports – click here (these will come out during the week throughout the offseason).

Alfredo Rodriguez Spray Chart

Alfredo Rodriguez Scouting Report

Hitting | There’s not been much of a track record of hitting for Alfredo Rodriguez. He didn’t hit in Cuba, he didn’t hit in the Dominican Summer League and he didn’t hit in the Florida State League. With that said, he makes contact and when healthy, has speed. He’s probably only a 40-grade hitter in the Majors, though, where .240-.250 isn’t completely outside the realm of possibilities.

Power | There’s been next to no power shown by Rodriguez at any point in his career. He’s a 25, maybe 30 power type of hitter who shouldn’t be expected to do any damage.

Running | He’s got plus speed when he wants to really go all out.

Arm | Rodriguez shows a strong arm at shortstop.

Defense | He’s got strong range in all directions, outstanding hands and is a plus or plus-plus defender at shortstop.

Alfredo Rodriguez has a chance to be an outstanding big league defender at shortstop. That is, if he can hit enough to be given the opportunity. His bat has been very poor in his professional career. He will also be 24-years-old in 2018. If there’s going to be a chance for him to be more than a good glove guy stashed in the minor leagues, he’s going to have to take some big steps forward at the plate. Pitchers aren’t exactly knocking the bat out of his hands, but they may as well be. He slugged under .300 during the 2017 season as a 23-year-old in A-ball. That’s difficult to do.

There’s some bat speed to work with for Rodriguez, and he does indeed make contact at a good rate. So there’s a chance he could improve his offensive profile. But, he’s going to have to show it, too, because the track record is established between his time in Cuba and now as a professional, and it’s not pretty at the plate.

42 Responses

  1. Cinvenfan

    Him and Nick Howard are the worst misses for the front office in the rebuilding period. Others like Travieso are due to injuries which are expected, but with those 2 almost everyone agreed there were clearly bad signings.

    Hopefully, AlfRod eats some granola bars with those 7mm, hit the gym and learn how to recognize a professional breaking ball ASAP. There’s time, the kid is still young and has elite defense.

    • Colorado Red

      Not really
      Did not cost them a draft pick, or anything like that just some money.
      Over the limit without him.
      Time will tell.
      Still another glove with no hit.

      • Cinvenfan

        Those $7mm certainly could of help them get guys like Luis Robert and other prospects better ranked in the international market. Almost every writer (including Doug) here were very aprehensive since day 1.

    • Norwood Nate

      As far as 1st rd/comp picks I’d add Gelalich to the list of misses as well. Howard has been the biggest bust though.

      • Cinvenfan

        True that about Gelalich. Another pick that was not well received at the time if I recall.

  2. Bill

    This is an important year for Alfredo Rodriguez to show he can do a little more with his bat. He has his first full year of professional baseball behind him and this needs to be a year where adjustments are made to demonstrate progress. As he enters his age 24 season, do the Reds challenge him with AA or return him to Daytona?

  3. David

    If Reds’ management is waiting for Alfredo to show that he can hit FSL pitching, the good folks in Pensacola might never get a chance to see him play. And that would be a shame.

  4. Krozley

    One of my biggest hopes this year is that at least one of AlfRod, Trahan, or Daal figure out how to be at least decent with the bat over a full season. If not, shortstop could be a dead spot for a few years until Downs/Garcia/Hernandez are ready. At this point, Peraza really needs to claim the spot. By the way, Peraza is younger than Trahan and Daal and only a few months older than AlfRod.

    • AndyBado

      Is Daal still in the system? Is he healthy? Is he alive? He didn’t play at all in ’17 and only 40 games in ’16.

      • Doug Gray

        Still in the system. Still alive. Not 100% healthy, but should be (assuming he’s had no set backs) at some point rather early in 2018.

      • AndyBado

        Good to here he’s getting healthy!
        When middling minor league prospects get seriously injured, it seems like they get sucked into a black hole. It’s hard to find any information about them on the internet. Which is fine and is probably similar in other sports. It’s just unusual in today’s age to not be able to find answers on the net.
        Not that I need those answers or anything, but it’d be cool to get updates on black hole injury guys (Crawford, Howard, Travieso, Hanson) from time to time even if it would be a little depressing.

  5. another bob in nc

    What’s league average BA/OPB/SLG and age in advanced A? Sorry if I read right past that info above. Thanks.

    • GM Nep O'Tism

      I don’t know the A+ average slash line, but according to Baseball Reference, last year Alfredo was 0.3 years older than the average A+ player.

      Which makes me worried that his OPS dropped to .588 playing people around his age after already hitting a poor .632 when he played in the Dominican Summer League in 2016. That year he was 22 and 3.8 years older than the average player. So 22 vs 18, literally a man vs boys and he still couldn’t hit.

      Not sure you can make a major league roster spot for a weaker/worse hitting version of Paul Janish or Cesar Izturis.

  6. AirborneJayJay

    “Cincinnati Reds Top Prospects: Alfredo Rodriguez”
    That made me laugh terribly out loud. I saw AlfRod’s bat on a milk carton at Krogers a couple of days ago.
    AlfRod will never see the Major Leagues in a Reds uniform. Biggest waste of money. Reds paid him like a first round draft pick, and won’t get diddly squat for it.
    Another front office buffoon move was getting out of the Christian Yelich sweepstakes at an early stage.
    Put Hunter Greene in the deal and Yelich is a Red. Go bold or go home, and Reds went home with their tail between their legs and head hanging down.
    Reds front office cannot run with the big dogs, so they sit on the porch and bark.
    Milwaukee is re-writing The Rebuild book (or is it binder in the Reds case?), and the Reds are writing Castaway 2, Wilson Returns.

    • Colorado Red

      NO,
      You do not trade Hunter for Yelich.
      That is not a smart trade.
      Additionally, Miami wanted near ML ready talent, So it was Senzel +
      that being said, I do not make that trade.
      That trade sets the rebuild back years.

      • AirborneJayJay

        Yes you do. If you want the Major League team to be better. What fan cares about 2023 in 2018?
        But lets have this conversation again on Oct. 1. Lets see what kind of numbers Yelich puts up in Milwaukee. Going to be much better than what they were in Miami. Yelich is going to win at least 1 batting title in Milwaukee in the next 5 years. He is going to be high in the league MVP votes each of the next 5 years and may win one.
        I agree with you on Senzel. He wasn’t going anywhere. But a funny thing happened in that Yelich trade. Brinson is the only player they received who was at or near ML ready. All of the other 3 will start out at AA with one possibly at A+. So Miami didn’t take a deal with all ML ready prospects. They would have taken Greene over Brinson, if offered, 7 days a week and twice on Sunday.
        That is just utter foolishness, that trading Greene would have set the rebuild back years. Having Yelich would have accelerated the rebuild by 2 years. Yelich alone doesn’t complete the rebuild as Milwaukee saw. They went out and signed Cain for 5 years. Coincidently the same amount of time Yelich will be there. And they are looking to upgrade a starting pitching spot. The Reds would have had to do the same by acquiring another needed piece or two.
        Hunter Greene may be a star one day, and he may not be. Yelich is star now and will be for years to come. Instantly he becomes the Reds 2nd best player. For the next 5 years.
        But who wants that?
        Keep aiming low, one day you might hit the target of mediocrity. 2023 will be here someday for those willing to wait. But keep in mind, there will be no World Series championships in Cincinnati in the years 2018-2022. Have no fear, the Reds front office will keep mediocrity alive until 2023 for you since that is what you want to strive for.

      • Doug Gray

        Constantly thinking about the now is what got us to 90+ losses the last few years. If the Reds had cared about 2017 in the winter of 2014, rather than caring about the All-Star game in 2015, things would look very different right now. Maybe better. Maybe not. But certainly a lot different.

      • AirborneJayJay

        I agree with you about the winter of 2014. The Latos and Simon trades went down on the last day of the Winter Meetings. It was a good start, but that was it. They held onto Cueto and Leake too long and then in between the two was the infamous Marlon Byrd trade for a starter that might be helping now. I won’t even mention the ill-fated and non-sensical additions of Jason Marquis, Kevin Gregg, Brennan Boesch, and Chris Dominguez on the 25 man roster. The Reds bet on Cingrani as a starter and lost big on that bet.
        But there is a difference in then and now. Cincinnati was at the end of a window and needed to re-load and didn’t. The team was on a descent. The collapse came and thus the rebuild was initiated.
        Today though is different. The team is on an ascent coming out of a rebuild. Getting one of the best hitters in the game to add to a middling offense only for a few prospects seems like good common sense. It would help upgrade the offense and defense. It just seems like a natural to pair up Yelich with Votto. Instead we are left with three outfielders that cannot get on base at a 31% clip and people are content to go with that.
        Not me. I wouldn’t give up Greene for just any trade deal. But to get one of the best young hitters in the game today for him for at least the next 5 years, I would do it. I get tired of the Reds offense scoring 6 or 7 runs one or twice a week and then struggle to score 2-3 runs 4 or 5 times a week.

    • AndyBado

      Fangraphs still has him as the #22 prospect. So they still see something in him.

    • Wes

      I don’t want the reds to win this year. I’ve prepared myself to finish toward the bottom of mlb again. Even w yelich they are finishing toward bottom of central. It’s a tough division and not yet the reds time.

      But let’s say they do what you want to the fullest. Trade the whole farm and bring back archer, yelich, and Tampa closer. And doing that they won 20 more games. That’s still not 90 wins and your cap is maxed. So you already have to shift other pieces team to keep best pieces in tact. You also create a window in which team can potentially last and then u have to rebuild all over again.

      Philadelphia 76ers been rebuilding for a decade and when labron is in his late 30s and gs is a lot older they’ll have a slew of potential superstars in their mid 20s.

      Houston’s Astros took a long time to rebuild and right now they have best combo of mlb/minor league talent.

      Just got to be patient. Sucks but it’s the right thing to do.

      • Colorado Red

        I would not mind seeing them move closer to 500.
        I want the young pitcher to take a big step forward.
        If we are in the 68 win range again, the pitching is a major failure,
        and we have years to go.

  7. MK

    Zack Cozart had similar numbers, with a little more power his first season in the pros, at a lower level, and he had not sat out prior like Alf Rod. Can only hope Alf Rod progresses as well.

    • AndyBado

      Cozart’s years of poor hitting give us hope for all light-hitting Reds SS prospects (Peraza, Trahan, Rodriguez). But I’m not sure how much hope he should give us — he was an extreme case of an average SS for most of his time with the Reds. While it’s possible to hit poorly and still be a decent shortstop, it’s unlikely that any of those players picks it well enough to buoy poor hitting.

      • Doug Gray

        Cozart was never punchless. He just couldn’t hit for average. The guys we worry about literally can’t put the ball over the fence.

    • RedsinWashSt

      Nice thought MK. The guy jumps from the Dominican to +A and hits 250. I at least want to wait another year before we give up on him. There is plenty of time to be critical later. With his glove he only needs to hit 270 to be effective and improve his OBP 50 or so. I am hoping that he used the off season to improve.

    • Brock

      Cozart’s first year in Dayton (at age 21) was awful, but he turned around to hit .280 with 14 HRs the next year in Dayton as a 22-year old. The year after that he had 29 doubles and 10 HRs in AA with a .360 OBP.

      Alf Rod will be 24 this season. Cozart was in AAA during his age-24 season. Let’s hope Alf Rod can have a similar jump in numbers, but he’s at least two year behind Cozart’s minor league pace.

      • MK

        Cozart had not taken any time off having played Div. I ball at Mississippi. for three years then coming into pro ball. Alf Rods minor league numbers and power look similar to a guy who just got a lot of HoF votes, Omar Vizquel

      • GM Nep O'Tism

        Omar Vizquel was in the Majors at 22-yo.

        In the minors at A ball as a 19 & 20-year-old, he hit .237/.339/.310

        That is better than Rodriguez’s .253/.294/.294 (OBP is .102 higher than AVG, and a .073 ISO vs .041 and .041, respectively) and he did it while being almost 3 full years younger than the league average.

        He also only got HoF votes because he played for 24 years in the majors and probably had no business getting votes anyway, being over 20 WAR short of the average HoF SS, and over 16 WAR short of the average HoF SS 7-year peak.

  8. Daytonian

    I’ve never seen films of his play. But he sounds more akin to a Janish than a Cozart. If can hit at all, and if he can play more than one infield position, with his glove he maybe can hang on with the Reds or some other team as a backup SS and utility infielder. Maybe he can learn to hit?

  9. Hoyce

    AlfRod was a headscratcher of a signing then, and makes no more sense now. To waste resources on a backup SS?? Ugggg. Hard to defend

    • citizen54

      Ya I never got the signing either. Not because I thought he was bad but because light-hitting good-fielding shortstops aren’t exactly a rare commodity. Why would you spend so much in the international pool money to get one?

      • Doug Gray

        Because the kind of defense he brings is rare. He’s not a light hitting good fielding shortstop. He’s a light hitting incredible fielding shortstop. Not saying he was worth the bonus they paid, but he’s a different guy than what you describe.

      • citizen54

        Eric Longenhagen has him at 50/50 Fielding and 55/55 Throwing and says he has “middling range and arm strength. His above-average hands, quick actions, and athleticism allow him to play an average defensive shortstop.” You’ve probably seen more of him than Eric has but opinions of Alfredo’s defense seem to vary.

      • Doug Gray

        That’s pretty much the only place, and report, that I’ve ever seen that says that. Keith Law called him a plus-plus defender last week, for example.

    • Norwood Nate

      I agree. I don’t care that we signed him, I just wouldn’t have spent that much money on him. He’s not worth the money spent comparatively to the value of others signed. (I know, I know…buscones and predetermined deals etc) He wasn’t getting that amount of money from anyone but the Reds. They should have lowered their offer when they realized they were only in a bidding war with themselves.

  10. Krozley

    Yes, as of now it looks like they overpaid for him, but that is in the past and no use complaining about it now. Miguel Rojas had a .487 OPS in over 300 PAs in his age 23 season in the Reds system back in 2012. He was released and clawed his way to the bigs in 2014 and has played in every season since then as a backup, glove-first shortstop/utility player. Last year, he had an OPS+ of 100 over 300+ PAs and a 2.2 WAR with the Marlins. There is still hope for AlfRod to be a productive major leaguer.

  11. Shamrock

    Ozzie Smith who????????

    Everybody, meet the Wizard of Alf!!

  12. Jim Delaney

    I think they need to start Alfredo at AA and see how he does. If he shows any improvement at the plate they should consider immediately calling him to the Majors to be at worse the back up SS and late game defensive replacement for Peraza. I much prefer Alfredo as REDS back up then try Phil Gosselin there..
    I am taking into account NO other moves are made by REDS to improve there current thin situation at the SS position.
    Also, understand if Alfredo does hit keeping him at AA until a September call up makes sense.
    If the REDS rest of the lineup can be strong, having a gold glover at SS can work. I like Alfredo being at SS better than the 2017 Jose Peraza…

  13. Brad

    Alf-Rod is a bit confounding. He does not have the build of a light hitting type player. He is fairly well built with good bat speed in BP. I can see why scouts see potential in his bat. Going from gap to gap to HR power. Hope it shows up this season.