When I completed my 2016 Midseason Cincinnati Reds Top 25 Prospect list it was still the final week of June. When the list began to go public, Alfredo Rodriguez had not yet signed with the organization. It seemed that everyone and their mother has known for months that the deal was going to happen as soon as July 2nd rolled around, until it was approved by Major League Baseball and became official, including him in the rankings seemed a bit premature. We’ve seen agreed upon deals fall through for various reasons in the past. For that reason, I did not include the Cuban shortstop in the rankings, but fully planned to eventually add him after he had signed.

We are now two weeks beyond his official signing date and I thought that now would be a good time to add him to the Cincinnati Reds Midseason Top 25 Prospect list. You can get all of the information on the updated list here.

So, where does Alfredo Rodriguez slide into the Cincinnati Reds Top 25 prospects list? Before answering that, let’s get into a bit of a scouting report before deciding on that.

Alfredo Rodriguez Scouting Report

Let’s start out with the good. Rodriguez has big league defense right now, and it’s above-average to plus defense at a premium position. He’s also got above-average to plus speed on the bases. That’s two big league ready tools right now. Of course, you generally need more than just two big league tools to be a regular contributor at the big league level.  This is where we’ve got focus on the not-so-good side of things in his game.

There are concerns about just how much he will hit. His track record in Cuba is a tad mixed. He reportedly hit at the lower levels of the Cuban leagues, but in his lone season at the highest level in Cuba as a 20-year-old was not very good, especially when compared to other Cuban born big leaguers at the same age. It’s been nearly two years since that season, and reports have suggested he’s improved at the plate since then as he’s worked on his swing and gotten a little bit bigger and stronger as well.

Still, he’s been projected about as unanimously as can be to have a below-average hit tool as well as below-average power. Toss in his lackluster season in Cuba two years ago and how it compared to others at the same age or younger, and everything we seem to know suggests there’s an enormous question about whether he can hit or not. Regardless of how good the glove is, you’ve got to be able to hit at a certain level if you’re going to be a big league starter.

Now that we’ve discussed his scouting report, let’s get into where to slot him into the rankings and how he compares to other players on the list. For me, until he proves otherwise, he’s a glove first player with questions about his bat. He’s probably a future big leaguer because of his speed and defense, but he’s got to prove he can hit enough to be a starting caliber player. While the overall profile is different, that sounds similar to what you can say about guys like Phillip Ervin or Yorman Rodriguez. Those two players are ranked 12th and 13th currently.

I believe that both of those guys are, at worst, 4th outfielder types in the big leagues, but I’ve also got more faith at this point in both of their bats. While the defense isn’t on the same level of what Alfredo Rodriguez has, they are both seemingly more advanced with the bat and both also have way more offensive upside as well. It’s tough to argue that he should slide in ahead of either of those two players without any track record in the United States of play.

For now, Alfredo Rodriguez is going to slide into the prospect rankings as the organizations #14 prospect. If he comes to the United States and performs, there’s a chance he could make a big jump up the rankings after the season is over. But as we sit today, there’s just too many unanswered questions to put him any higher than that.

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Doug Gray is the owner and operator of this website and has been running it since 2006 in one variation or another. You can follow him on twitter @dougdirt24, or follow the site on Facebook. and Youtube.

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