After a strong debut with the DSL Mets in 2021, New York brought Hector Rodriguez stateside and sent the 18-year-old to their complex league team in Florida to begin the 2022 season.

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In the first game of the year for the FCL Mets, Hector Rodriguez went 1-4 with a single. He never really looked back over the next five weeks, hitting .392/.424/.595 through July 12th with just six strikeouts in 85 plate appearances. With the Mets having their complex league and Single-A team playing out of the spring training facility, they called on Rodriguez to fill in for two days with St. Lucie where he went 1-7 with a walk before returning to the FCL roster where he would go 5-23 (.217) over the next 11 days.

On July 26th he was traded to Cincinnati and the Reds brought him out to join their team at the complex in Arizona. Rodriguez would join the team for his first game on August 1st. The timing wasn’t great as two days later the team had an outbreak at the complex and they didn’t play for nearly a week. Rodriguez would hit .400 in seven games between the 1st and the 15th and wouldn’t strike out before he was promoted to join the Single-A Daytona Tortugas. He began his time with Daytona by racking up a 9-game hitting streak (11-33). After two days off the outfielder returned to the lineup and went into a little bit of a slump, going 1-11 against Palm Beach in the next three games. On September 3rd he would single in his first at-bat, but on the next play he slid into second base and injured his leg, ending his season.

For all 2022 Season Reviews and Scouting Reports – click here (these will come out during the week throughout the offseason).

Hector Rodriguez Scouting Report

Position: Outfielder | B/T: S/R

Height: 5′ 8″ | Weight: 186 lbs | Acquired: International FA (2021, Mets), Trade (July 2022)

Born: March 11, 2004

Hitting | He has an above-average hit tool.

Power | He has below-average power.

Speed | He’s a plus runner.

Defense | He’s an above-average defender.

Arm | He has a solid-average arm.

There’s plenty to like in the profile for Hector Rodriguez. He’s got plenty of speed and can play a quality defense in center. To this point in his career he’s struck out just 37 times in 337 plate appearances – making contact at an elite rate. And he’s hit well from both sides of the plate while posting a .320/.374/.510 triple-slash line as a 17 and 18-year-old. And after struggling to steal bases in the Dominican Summer League, he went 16-for-22 in 2022 between the four teams he played for.

When it comes to what he’s done at the plate he’s certainly shown plenty of extra-base pop so far – he slugged .536 in 2022 as he picked up 23 extra-base hits in 49 games. Some of that was speed based as it allowed him to grab some extra-bases that others may not have been able to. His future power isn’t likely that of a guy who can slug .500 – scouts project his power to be below-average. But if he can continue to make contact at an elite rate then he should still be able to rack up non-home run extra-base hits.

As a switch-hitter it’s worth noting how he performed from both sides of the plate. He only had 37 plate appearances as a right-handed hitter in 2022 but hit .389/.405/.556 with one walk and four strikeouts. As a left-handed hitter he had 159 plate appearances and hit .320/.365/.531 with 11 walks and 16 strikeouts. His strikeout rate was 10% from the right side and just 11% from the left side.

With all of that contact, though, comes a low walk rate. That isn’t something that will work against him as long as he continues to makes tons of (quality) contact and carry a high average. But that’s also a profile that has failed to work for many guys in the past, too. He’s still just 18-years-old, so there’s both a lot of development to happen and things to learn and improve upon as he continues to climb the ladder.

Defensively he has spent some time at second base in his career, but all signs point towards him being an outfielder now that he’s in the Reds organization. After the trade he played one inning at second base and the remaining time was all spent in the outfield. He profiles as a quality center fielder, but could cover any of the three spots if needed from a defensive perspective.

The leg injury suffered in early September was pretty severe. Rodriguez is not expected to return to the field until about June of 2023 as long as things continue to go as expected in the rehab process.

Video

Hector Rodriguez Spray Charts

As a Left-Handed Hitter

As a Right-Handed Hitter

Interesting Stat on Hector Rodriguez

The home and road splits in 2022 for Hector Rodriguez were pretty big. Given that he played for four different teams it’s not worth looking too deeply into, but there’s some fun in them. On the road he hit .370/.410/.620. At home he hit .297/.333/.451. Seven of his eight triples came on the road. He also went 12-for-13 in stolen bases on the road, but just 4-for-9 in stolen base attempts at home.

20 Responses

  1. AMDG

    “he slugged .536 in 20222”

    Wow! If he is still playing 18,200 years from now, I’ll be impressed! :-)

    • Stock

      What I love even more is that at the age of 18200 he is still going to be an asset in the lineup. This trade is looking better all the time.

      Assuming this happens I think father time will finally lose one!!!

  2. Matt

    Rodriguez and Acuna, in my opinion, were a great pick up for 2+ months of Tyler Naquin. Eager to watch both of their progressions this year. Hopefully Rodriguez recovers well from his leg injury.
    On Acuna, wonder if he’ll start back in Daytona or if they’ll push him onto Dayton.

    • Stock

      I agree Matt. This was the best trade the Reds made last summer.

      • Bourgeois Zee

        I think it was a good trade, but not the best.

        Getting Encarnacion-Strand and Steer for Mahle strikes me as a better deal. Both are, IMO, likely to be 2+ WAR players for the next six years. (And I like Encarnacion-Strand to outproduce that number significantly.)

        The Marte/ Arroyo/ Stoudt/ Moore for Castillo deal, while painful, also brought back what I believe to be four major league players, all of whom I believe will be at least league average at their positions.

        Rodriguez and Acuna are a prescient and precocious pair, and getting them both for a half-season of Tyler Naquin was great value. Neither of them, IMO, will eclipse the excess value from the other two deals.

      • Stock

        The Reds received two top 20 prospects (my ranking not Doug’s) in Acuna and Rodriguez for a 2 months of a part time player. Hard to beat that. I am pretty sure Rodriguez and Acuna will provide more value to the Reds than Naquin provided the Mets.

        I love the Castillo trade also. I am not as certain as you that Moore and Stoudt will be ML players. But I do like Marte and Arroyo. I am nervous that Marte is lazy since I read somewhere that it took him a while to get into game shape last summer but once he did he was great. My feeling is a player should not take a while to get into game shape. That said two quality prospect for Castillo is huge. It would not surprise me if Castillo provided more value to the Mariners than Marte and Arroyo provide the Reds. That said I think the Reds win this trade.

        The Mahle trade is more average to me. I am not sure Steer will ever be more than Blandino+. I was much more excited about Barrero two years ago than I am about Steer right now. Barrero did not turn out so well. I have CES at #12 and Rodriguez at #14. Not much difference. I can’t recall a player ever having a K/BB ratio north of 5 making an impact in the majors. I hope I am wrong and CES and Steer provide more value to the Reds than Mahle brings to Minnesota. I am skeptical this will happen.

      • MBS

        Fair points all around, kinda shows you how good of a job Krall did. I’d love to see what he could do if he’s given the budget that Dick had.

  3. Doc

    Although it has probably rarely, if ever, happened, it would be interesting to see a player get traded but remain within the same milb league, playing in the same parks as a home field and then as an away field, and compare his home and away statistics in the same park.

    • Doc

      Come to think of it, that kind of data set might be much more available at the MLB level since everyone plays in the same 30 parks. As one example, Nolan Arenado played a number of away games at Busch stadium when he was a Rockie, and a ton of games at Coors field as his home field. Now Coors is an away game and Busch is his home field. It would be interesting to compare his home and away stats in each of those fields.

    • Greenfield Red

      I loved the 2022 trades, but had a little concern about the Mahle trade in that it felt more like a “major league ready” with limited upside return than the others which were high upside returns. I hope I am wrong.

  4. Stock

    Hector Rodriguez (Ranked #14 on my top 60) and Victor Acosta (31) joined an impressive Reds class of international 18 year old players this summer. Two years ago the Reds signed Carlos Jorge (13), Ariel Almonte (20), Leonardo Balcazar (21), Malvin Valdez (50) and I think Donovan Antonio (39). From my rankings one can tell that I feel Hector Rodriguez and Carlos Jorge have separated themselves from the other five. Here is why I rate Rodriguez so high.

    1. Two teams thought enough of Rodriguez to promote him to full season ball as an 18 year old. This rarely happens. I understand that in the past Rodriguez would have been promoted to Billings or the New York Mets equivalent. That does not change the fact that two teams thought he was ready for full season pitching.

    2. I think his power is under-rated. Everyone sees 5’8 and say power is below average. I disagree.
    A) I see a career ISO north of .200 and say he has average power.
    B) Three home runs in limited time in the Florida complex league with the Mets does not appear to be too impressive until you consider the limited time, the league and his age. He spent 60% of his season in the Florida complex league (based upon PA above) and he finished 33rd in the league in HR. Three players age 18 finished with more HR (one with 6, one with 5 and one with 4). Four players age 19 hit more home runs than he did (1/2/1).
    C) Leonardo Balcazar has average to above average raw power. Leonardo Balcazar had an instructional league ISO of .154 in 2022. Hector Rodriguez had an instructional league ISO of .221 in 2022. I feel both players have average raw power. I also think Rodriguez’ hit tool will allow him to put more balls in play which will in turn play up his power.

    The injury really stinks but I think Rodriguez is a gem.

    • Greenfield Red

      Stock, I really appreciate your work. Between Doug, BDH, and you, I have a great feel for where the Reds really are in all of this.

      I think the Reds under age 21 minor league is probably best in baseball right now… although the Dodgers always seem to have an endless supply.

      I think the perpetual return in trade should be all high end very young talent unless there is an immediate need of ML talent (not ML ready, but ML successful) talent. The more Hectors and Arroyos, ect the better. The less Rookie Davis and John Lambs, the better. No offence to those men who are probably nice guys, just not high end major league players.

    • Jonathan Linn

      @Stock – thanks for your insight. Are you tied to Minor League Baseball at all or how do you find out all of your info?

  5. Krozley

    There is an article over on the Reds site showing results from a poll of MLB executives concerning farm system rankings. Here are the results of the first two questions:

    Which team uses the Draft best?
    37% — Dodgers
    20% — Orioles
    14% — Cardinals
    6% — Braves, Reds

    Which team plays the international market better than any other?
    21% — Astros, Dodgers
    18% — Yankees
    6% — Guardians, Nationals, Padres, Reds

    That sounds great, but later they have the “who develops best” questions and the Reds are nowhere to be found on any list (pitchers, batters, “sleepers”). As many of us on here know, the Reds have got to improve in this regard or we’ll never see players like Rodriguez get to the majors (at least with this team). The Dodgers, by the way, are at the top of all lists (2nd in developing pitchers). Scary that one team that has the ability to spend endlessly is also the best overall at building from within.

    • Stock

      It will be interesting to see what happens when the draft is implemented. This should be a huge negative impact on the Dodgers.

      The Reds 2021 international class is one everyone on here is excited about. It includes Carlos Jorge, Leonardo Balcazar, Donavon Antonio, Ariel Almonte and Malvin Valdez.

      The Reds 2022 international class is also one to get excited about. It includes Ricardo Cabrera, Carlos Sanchez, Esmith Pineda and Anthuan Valencia.

      The 2021 class had only one player receive a 35+ or better rating per fangraphs at 2021 YE. Carlos Jorge was rated 35+.

      The 2022 international class should fare better. I expect Cabrera to be a 40 or 40+ prospect. I am hoping Pineda is a 40 and Sanchez is a 35+.

      But now look at the Dodgers:

      2021 International Class: Rayne Doncon (45+), Wilman Diaz (40+), Thayron Liranzo (40), Maximo Martinez (40), Jesus Galiz (40),

      2022 International Class: Josue De Paula (45+), Mairoshendrick Martinus (40), Samuel Munoz (40), Oswaldo Osorio (40) and Reynaldo Yean (35+).

      Far superior to the Reds strong classes of 2021 and 2022. It will be interesting to see how the international draft impacts the Dodger’s farm.

  6. Stock

    Thanks for your comments Greenfield and Jonathan. What you say means a lot to me. I am in no way associated with baseball other than being a fan. I am a big fan of fantasy baseball and combine my math knowledge with things I have learned to be efficient in fantasy baseball on here.

    • Greenfield Red

      I am a Math guy myself. My only real talent I have is the ability to add, subtract, multiply, and divide before my wife an son can get to the calculator on their phones. I guess everybody has something.