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.
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.