For all 2016 Prospect Ranking Scouting Reports – click here (these will come out one a day over the offseason).

The 2015 season was a big one for Yorman Rodriguez. Despite being just 22-years-old, it was slated to be the last season in which he could play in the minor leagues as he would be out of options after the 2015 campaign.

The month of April did not get out to a strong start. For the first three weeks of the season, the young outfielder hit .176 over the first 16 games. He would get things moving in the right direction over the final four games, going 4-13 with a double and a triple.

Rodriguez would carry that forward into May, hitting .308 over the first 10 games of the month with five extra-base hits. That didn’t last long as he would go into a slump over the next week, going 3-29 with all three hits being for extra-bases. The month would finish up with the final nine games seeing him hit .324 and slugging .541 as he turned things back around, but overall on the month he would hit just .257/.278/.476. The power was there, but he walked just three times in 108 plate appearances.

The hot finish in May carried over to June. The outfielder put together his best month of the season, hitting .321/.374/.434. In 115 plate appearances he walked nine times, a big improvement from the earlier two months in the season in which he had just seven total walks and he struck out 25 times (21.7%). The power took a step backwards with just six extra-base hits after having 13 in May, but the rest of the offensive production was far greater.

July started out well as Rodriguez hit .333 with a home run over the first five games of the month. Then the Reds would call the Venezuelan to the big leagues. He would not appear in a game for the Reds before returning to Louisville. After not playing in a game for 10 days, he returned to the Bats lineup. After just five games though he would strain a calf muscle and would end up playing his last game of the season on July 21st.

After hitting just .237/.267/.420 in April and May, Rodriguez adjusted well in June and July. In 150 plate appearances once the calendar flipped to June he would hit .309/.356/.439, all while improving his walk and strikeout rates. Overall his season looks solid, but unspectacular and he’s certainly going to need to increase his walk rate compared to where it was in 2015 if he’s going to play regularly at the big league level.

PA 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB K AVG OBP SLG
326 13 3 10 41 4 17 80 .269 .308 .429

Scouting Report

[private_subscriber]

Hitting | Rodriguez has an above-average raw hitting tool, but he currently struggles to get the most out of it. He’s able to use the entire field and can do so with some power, but his pitch selection holds back his ability to hit for a high average right now.

Power | Rodriguez has 20-25 home run power in the future to tap into if he’s able to get the most from his game, perhaps even a few more at his peak. The ball carries off of his bat at times, particularly to the opposite field on balls that don’t seem well struck at contact. His approach is to go up the middle and to the opposite field more often than he pulls the ball and nine of his 10 home runs in 2015 went to center or to right field. If he learns which balls to pull as he continues to mature, his power could really take that step forward.

Running | Despite low stolen base totals throughout his career, Rodriguez is a plus runner. He’s turned in times to first base under 4.20 at times and moves well once he gets going out of the box.

Arm | Another plus tool that Rodriguez brings to the table. It’s a weapon in both center and in right field.

Defense | This is an area where Rodriguez could use more seasoning. Over the years he has improved defensively and it’s not necessarily that he’s a bad defender, because he’s not. The issue is more of a judgement thing at this point. He will often pull up early on baseballs that may be catchable had he simply run through the play, but instead plays things safe instead of going for it. His reads and effort in the field have improved – early in his career he was known to ‘dog it’ in the field at times, but that’s a function of the past. He’s got enough speed to play in center field and hold his own, but probably grades out as a slightly below-average guy right now at the position. In the corners his arm and range both play very well.

From a pure raw tools perspective, there aren’t many players in the organization that can rival the total package the Yorman Rodriguez offers. He’s above-average in every tool. With that said, his current skillsets aren’t all there. His plate discipline, while better than his strikeout-to-talk ratio in 2015 suggests, still needs improvement. The fact that he is out of options and must be in the Major Leagues moving forward will make for an interesting dilemma for the Reds. With the 2016 season being one where they are rebuilding, will they just go with the 23-year-old as an every day player and let him continue to develop, or will they try to mix-and-match him and limit his playing time? He’s generally been a guy who makes the adjustments after he struggles and looking forward to 2016 it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him struggle early on before starting to take steps forward.

The upside for Rodriguez is likely that of a bat first center fielder with plenty of power and a solid average. The downside is that the hit tool doesn’t fully develop and he becomes more of a 4th outfielder who can provide defense around the outfield and some pop off of the bench.

Spray Chart

To Total % 1B 2B 3B HR AVG SLG IsoP
P 13 5.7% 2 0 0 0 .167 .167 .000
C 2 0.9% 1 0 0 0 .500 .500 .000
1B 14 6.1% 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
2B 36 15.7% 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
3B 22 9.6% 2 0 0 0 .091 .091 .000
SS 31 13.5% 2 0 0 0 .065 .065 .000
LF 33 14.4% 16 6 2 1 .758 1.152 .394
CF 39 17.0% 16 4 0 5 .641 1.128 .487
RF 39 17.0% 18 3 1 4 .667 1.103 .436

[/private_subscriber]

31 Responses

  1. jim t

    Excited to see if Y-rod can step up to the challenge and be a answer to one of the Outfield positions.

  2. The Duke

    I still think you are dreaming a bit too much on the tools. He’s still very raw for a guy who has been in the system for over half a decade. He should get his shot in what is going to be a rebuild year for the Reds, but it’ll be a pleasant surprise to me if he does much with it.

    • Tom

      Duke, I’m with you on this one. A player can only be a “tools guy” for so long before he needs to show some actual production. Rodriguez, unfortunately, looks to me to be yet another in a long line of players produced by the Reds minor league system with too many holes in his bat.

      • Doug Gray

        Tom, they can always be a toolsy guy if they’ve got tools. Don’t confuse toolsy with productive. They aren’t the same thing.

        As for Yorman being around for years – let’s be sure to remember that he’s younger than Phillip Ervin is and just a few months older than Alex Blandino is. Rodriguez is still pretty young, he’s just happened to sign when he was 16 instead of 21.

      • Norwood Nate

        I’d even argue there is some production there as well. He OPS’d .736 in AAA while being -4.8 years younger than league average. That’s not nothing.

        He still has a ways to go, but there’s enough production to see where he could put it all together as he matures.

  3. RFM

    I hope the Reds give Yorman Rodriguez at least as much leeway as they did Marlon Byrd. If he totally bombs you’d think it would become easier to pass him through waivers. With his raw skills you’d think he’d be an interesting, albeit not necessarily productive, guy to watch in 2016. See what the hitting coaches can do with him, and what adjustments he can make. He’s just the kinda guy to play in a transition year.

    It’s kinda funny, the system of minor league options is supposed to help players, but Yorman is a rare case where it presents a threat to his career at a young age, keeping him out of the level he belongs at… AAA… and possibly making it more difficult or less likely that he ever becomes a successful major leaguer.

    • Tom Gray

      Marlon Byrd averaged (about) 25 HR and 80 RBI the past 3 seasons.

      I’d take that from Rodriguez in 2016 through 2018.

  4. sultan of swaff

    I agree with RFM that Yorman needs as long a leash as Marlon Byrd received. Strikeouts and all, I’d take him right now over Billy Hamilton because at least there’s still some ceiling to Yorman’s game. With Billy, I just don’t see it. Still, my preference will be to trade Chapman (plus others if necessary) to acquire a true CF with a good bat.

    Doug, any word on whether Yorman will be playing winter ball to make up for lost time?

    • RFM

      I don’t mean I’d play Yorman in CF over Billy Hamilton, I’d start him in LF if nothing changes, or RF if Bruce is traded.

      Assuming Bruce is traded, the Reds would need to acquire two good young outfielders before I’d seriously consider pushing Yorman or Hamilton out of the opening day lineup. So much of 2016 is dependent on the performance of young pitchers, something Hamilton’s defense can help with. If Yorman does well, maybe move him to CF when Winker gets promoted, but at the moment Hamilton is just the kind of player the Reds should play.

    • Tom Gray

      Byrd had a slow start but wound up with a pretty decent year in 2015.

      Rodriguez has never matched his power numbers in MiLB yet.

      • Jasonp

        They were not saying he is going to be a hitter like Byrd they are saying that they hope the Reds will stick with him (or keep playing him) if he struggles and strikes out a lot like they did with Byrd when he was doing that.

        Byrd didn’t hit 20 home runs in a season until he was 31.

        Rodriguez is an interesting player. He could be a very good player or might not be good enough to keep on the team. I think this year is perfect for him though. If we were set everywhere in the outfield I don’t know how many at bats he would get. Though with so many spots open we should be able to get a good look at him and see how he does with constant playing time. I am not counting on a great year from him but I hope that he shows some signs that he can stay a starter for us.

      • RFM

        Yep, what Jasonp said.

        It’s not a matter of matching Marlon Byrd’s production, just Byrd struggled early and they didn’t give up on him. Yorman isn’t Byrd, they’re different in several ways, including being at the opposite ends of careers. Byrd hit 19 homeruns with the Reds, with a .286 OBP. Out of those two numbers I see the OBP as the more likely and more achievable target for Yorman.

        While aging Byrd had negative defensive value, I think young Yorman could have positive defensive value on either corner.

      • Tom Gray

        Marlon Byrd AVERAGED more HR and RBI (based on 162 G season projection) than Yorman Rodriguez has EVER had in his MiLB career.

        Rodriguez should split LF with Duvall in 2016. May the better man win and play LF in 2017. But neither is likely to be as good as Marlon Byrd.

      • Doug Gray

        No one cares about Marlon Byrd. He’s not, nor was he ever an option for 2016. And yes, I’d take Yorman in 2016 over Byrd. Byrd was worth 1.0 wins in 2015. He’s likely to be worse than that in 2016.

      • Tom Gray

        Doug, can you read? It’s not apparent.

        Someone see brought up Marlon Byrd. READ all the way above.

    • Doug Gray

      He’s playing in Venezuela right now. Update coming in about two hours on the winter leagues. He had a decent weekend and is out to a good start.

    • mollyspad

      Yorman is a rule 5 draftee type of player without the $25,000 cost; enough tools to entice you to want him, but you are not sure where he fits in a normal roster.

      fortunately, the Reds can use a few rule 5 type players this year. He should get a shot with this team especially how we have filled out our roster the last few years

      • Doug Gray

        Generally speaking, he’s far more polished than most Rule 5 guys will be. He’s got nearly a full season of Triple-A experience under his belt and more than a full season of Double-A. Plenty of risk associated with him, and you can’t send him down unless it’s on a rehab assignment, but he should be more ready to play on a nearly every day basis than most Rule 5 guys are.

  5. Alan Horn

    I don’t know what to make of Yorman. One thing is for sure. The Reds can afford to give him a decent shot next season.

    • Tom Gray

      Agreed. Play Rodriguez and Duvall regularly in LF next year. The Reds will be lucky to get to 70 W in 2016. Who cares who plays LF? It won’t matter in 2016. Give both a chance to be Cliff Cook or Tommy Harper (and hope for the latter).

  6. The Duke

    I may not be a believer, but barring injury, he should get 400+ at bats this year for the Reds. Let’s see what we have, and he certainly won’t develop from the bench.

    • DaveCT

      Agreed. I’d venture to say he’ll be keague average in defense as well as base running. I wouldn’t be surprised to see his power do well at GABP given his production to right field. A year to develop in left then over to right after Bruce leaves, providing all goes well of course.

  7. cinvenfan

    Yorman´s stats after 10 games (37 at-bats):

    .297/.381/.459, ops: .840 3Bb, 9K. Saw him over the weekend, even hitting cleanup. He has looked very good on the field (what an arm!), hitting with authority but still going after some pitches he shouldn’t.
    In my mind Yorman and Winker are as important for the Reds future as any of the young arms.

  8. HavaKlu

    Let’s don’t forget about Adam Duvall in the LF mix—–he could duplicate Byrd if given the ABs.

  9. MK

    Think with off season moves it might likely be Duvall at third, Winker in left and Y-Rod in right.

  10. jonathan

    Where would Yorman fall in a first year player draft if he would have gone to college instead? He’ 22, which is a normal age for a college senior…so would he be 2nd Round talent?

    • Doug Gray

      I think he’d be a 1st rounder, but I’m higher on him than others. I ranked him higher than Tyler Stephenson, who just went in the top half of the first round last season. I just think the tools are there to work still. I believe that his age and amount of time he’s been around has led to too many people sleeping on him because they expected him to break out already. It’s like they forget that in terms of how old he is, he’s a few months younger than Phillip Ervin and a few months older than Alex Blandino.

      • Jonathan

        I would agree with you. The guy is only 22 years old…its not like he is 25. If he would have taken the traditional route, he would still be in Double A like Phillip Ervin or Alex Blandino. I think he’s doing well for already knocking on the door at the MLB level.

        I’ve always pulled for the guy…it can’t be easy being 16-17 years old in a different country. Most 16-18 year old kids wouldn’t have been able to handle it.