While I cover the Cincinnati Reds farm system for a living, which gives me more chances to write about nearly every player they have than just about anyone else, I believe it would be fair to suggest that I’ve been as critical about the team signing Cuban shortstop Alfredo Rodriguez as anyone has. I’ve questioned the amount that they paid for him, as well as questioning whether or not he’ll ever hit enough to be more than an extremely good backup infield glove.

At the same time, there are some good things with Alfredo Rodriguez when we want to look for them. Defensively, we all have read and some of us have seen that he’s got outstanding hands, good range and a strong arm at shortstop. The entire package, at least defensively, adds up for a very, very good defender. Offensively, the best thing you’ve been able to say for him is that he’s real fast. He didn’t hit in Cuba, granted he was 20-years-old when he didn’t hit in Cuba. But he also didn’t hit, in a very small sample size, in the Dominican Summer League, either.

We know that he had bulked up since his time in Cuba by the time that the Reds signed him. When he was playing in Cuba he was listed around 175 lbs. He’s closer to 190-195 today. That’s good news for his hitting. Added strength was certainly needed. But, Alfredo Rodriguez is also reworking his swing from where it used to be.


MLB Pipeline’s Jonathon Mayo posted a video of Alfredo Rodriguez from spring training. Rodriguez is an early attendee, as position players aren’t due until March 9th for minor league camp. Let’s take a look at the quick clip:

The swing mechanics from the waist up are similar to what the shortstop was using while in Cuba. It’s his lower half that’s quite a bit different. While he was in Cuba he would utilize a very small step, toe-tap, then another very small step as his timing mechanism. At other times he simply used a very small step as his timing mechanism.

As we can see in the video above, he’s utilizing a very pronounced leg raise and step mechanism now. I forwarded the clip to a scout friend of mine, asking him for a quick opinion on a few swings. He noted that, of course, in the cage with such a small choice of swings and not knowing what round it was, it may not mean a ton (in different rounds of BP you may be working on different things – pull the ball, hit it the other way, put it over the fence).

Here’s what he told me: “He passes the eye test. Decent length (in the swing) in the zone. Doesn’t load deep, so off speed is worth keeping an eye on with him. ”



5 Responses

  1. Simon Cowell

    i for one hope he finds his bat. I would hate to see the 2nd coming of Alfredo Griffin.

    • MK

      Like Griffin, if they can get a 17 year and three World Series MLB career out of him, the Reds would probably take it and be happy

      • Simon Cowell

        valid point. I should have referenced the infamous Mario Mendoza sounds like they have more in common. Mendoza might be a slightly better hitter. Rodriquez beats him hands down on glove though.

  2. RFM

    He’ll be an interesting guy to see this year, going into a season with a full spring training and extensive coaching, rather than trying to break off the rust midseason after a couple of years off. It’ll be interesting to see how people actually, you know, seeing him play in games in the US will change impressions…

  3. The Duke

    I hope him incorporating his lower body is something he is doing all the time now. Also good to see he’s filled out a little bit, hopefully it doesn’t affect his speed. I’m interested to see how his year plays out with him finally being able to play consistently again.