After playing the entire game in center for the LIDOM (Dominican Winter League) All-Star team as they faced off against the LBPRC (Puerto Rican Winter League) over the weekend, Hector Rodriguez returned to the lineup for Escogido on Monday night and picked up where he left off before the All-Star break.

The 19-year-old outfielder, who remains the youngest player in the league, doubled in his first at-bat of the game. After being retired in the next two trips to the plate he came through with singles singles in the 6th and 8th innings. Rodriguez would finish the night 3-5 with a double and raise his average to .317 (33 for 104) in 28 games played. He hasn’t walked much – just three times – so his on-base percentage is a bit low given his average, but he’s sporting a .343 mark there. His slugging is currently .471, though it should be a tad higher if not for him missing home plate on a home run and it being ruled as a triple.

Rodriguez has had hits in 22 of his 28 games played for Escogido, but one of the hitless games came in a game in which he had just one at-bat. Monday night’s game was the 8th game of the season in which he picked up multiple hits. It was also his 2nd 3-hit game of the season.

When it comes to the Reds farm system, Hector Rodriguez is one of just three guys playing regularly in winter ball right now. Noelvi Marte looked like he was going to join them but after an injury he was shut down. Jose Barrero is playing most nights in the Dominican Winter League, but he’s struggled with Estrellas, hitting .172/.306/.224 in 23 games. Carlos Sanchez is playing most days for Perth down in Australia, but they don’t play games every day. He’s been limited to just six games after joining the club during their second week of play and has gone 4-19 (.211) with two walks and four strikeouts.

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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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24 Responses

  1. Old Big Ed

    The Mets are stupid.

    For Tyler Naquin, who went 0-8 for the White Sox in 2023, they gave up Hector Rodriguez and Jose Acuna, who had a nice season at Dayton this year at age 20.

    This is a good example of how teams with money always waste it. In the rush to “win now,” they literally give away the farm.

    • Tom

      Yes Krall was wise to find a match during their drunken escapade. Question this year is whose at the bar? Seems like a pretty dry party so far.

  2. SultanofSwaff

    Krall’s comments about India not on the trading black certainly indicates the infield is set for 2024. That has me wondering about Jose Barrero. Does he have to make the team or we lose him to free agency? If yes, they’d better find a trade partner now.

    • MBS

      We need a 12th, and 13th man. Right now Barrero seems to be in the mix. Martini, Thompson, Fairchild, and Hopkins being the other 4, but Barrero is the only one with positional flexibility.

      I’d go Thompson, Barrero with the mix we have now, but I also hope we add a better bat to the OF.

    • Tom

      I’ve thought for a while that India would be a good option to replace Joey at 1b. Hopefully he can OPS over 800 in a matchup role. I think the consensus is that if he stays healthy he can do just that.

    • Stock

      I think the signing of Mark Mathias effectively ended Barrero’s time in Cincinnati.

      Prior to the signing I felt if the Reds added 2 more players to the 40 man roster this winter that TJ Hopkins would be released. Now I think that Barrero will be the one to go and the Reds would need to add three players to lose Hopkins.

      • MBS

        He’s another I should have added, but I’d say he’s in direct competition with Barrero, not his obvious replacement.

      • Greenfield Red

        Like most here, I had high hopes for Barerro, but not so much now, and his situation brings me to two points:

        First, JB shows why the Reds shouldn’t trade JI. 3 years ago, JB had all the promise in the world, similar to ELDC, but he can’t lay off the breaking ball. Now his career hangs in the balance. It is best to have a back up plan (JI) in case ELDC doesn’t hit.

        My second point regarding JB is I think he would have been better off in Goodyear this Winter than playing in the DWL. How about 3 hours a day of video study trying to recognize a breaking ball that will end up in the dirt compared to one that clips the strike zone, and 3 hours a day in the cage trying to apply what you just learned in the video session? Seems that would have been more productive than playing in the DWL.

    • BK

      Barrero is on the bubble with making the team and perhaps vulnerable to losing his 40-man roster spot. The hitting has to progress; good teams avoid non-competitive plate appearances. While he can also play SS and other infield positions, there are more outfielders on the 40-man roster than can help the Reds now and in the future.

      Similarly, Thompson is likely vulnerable. While he has elite speed that may translate defensively (the scouting reports I’ve read say he’s good not great in CF), it hard to hide a poor bat. Given that two teams have already tried to slip him through waivers in the last few months, he is viewed as a fringe player.

      Lastly, age is working against TJ Hopkins but it’s easier to envision his hit tool making a contribution as the MLB level. I see these three players as the most vulnerable on the 40-man roster.

    • MBS

      I’m pretty sure most on here also thought Senzel was a lock. These candidates for the 12th, and 13th spots are all AAAA type of players. They are all on shaky ground.

      I really want to add 1 more bat to give us the depth we need to absorb the inevitable injuries that happen during a season. We could also use a Greg Vaughn type of leader to help guide these young hitters.

  3. MK

    I had Hector penciled into my Dayton lineup to start ‘24 but his performance in the Dominican might move him a step ahead. It is great to see that his broken leg has not seemed to slow his development. Though I would like to keep him I could see him being included as the prospect in a big trade.

    • Stock

      Interesting comment MK. In my YE ranking, I have
      9. Sal Stewart
      11. Carlos Jorge
      12. Hector Rodriguez
      13. Leonardo Balcazar

      I consider all 4 of these very close. But after reading Doug’s post I was thinking maybe I am underestimating Rodriguez. Maybe he should have been in front of Stewart. He did not lose much time in 2023 due to his injury at the end of 2022 but he did struggle in April. Maybe this was in part due to not being allowed to prepare for the season in a manner that he would have if not for the injury.

      Maybe I am under rating Rodriguez and he should be ahead of Stewart. Again the four of them are close but then I read your comment and if Rodriguez starts (or even if it is just a consideration) in AA then I feel he should be ranked ahead of Stewart. I am not sure it matters where either is ranked I guess. I am just glad all four are in our system.

  4. Stock

    Last winter I was all excited about the Daytona 9. I thought it was a fantastic group of prospects playing at the same level. Here is where I had them ranked in my top 50:

    3. Cam Collier
    13. Carlos Jorge
    14. Hector Rodriguez
    15. Sal Stewart
    20. Ariel Almonte
    21. Leonardo Balcazar
    31. Victor Acosta
    35. Cade Hunter
    50. Malvin Valdez

    Fast forward 1 year and only one in my top 25 has dropped out. Almonte is now 41 in my ranking. Hunter worked his way up to 29. Acosta fell to 33 and Valdez fell to 60.

    But 5 remain in my top 13. I can’t remember a group of 5 players progressing through the minors like this before. This goes not only for the Reds but for any team.

    This years graduation class of offensive players is pretty impressive. The Reds (and maybe any team) have never had 4 players with the potential of this rookie class.

    Even more impressive the Reds have 3 players that were part of the 2021 rookie class (India, Stephenson and Fraley) and two more that were part of the 2022 rookie class (Benson and Friedl).

    A very impressive group of 9 players.

    The 2024/2025 rookie class has the potential to include Noelvi Marte, Jacob Hurtubise, Blake Dunn, Matheu Nelson and Edwin Arroyo.

    Follow that up with Collier, Stewart, Rodriguez, Jorge, Balcazar and Hunter. The Reds are absolutely stacked with quality prospects.

    • Greenfield Red

      Agree 100% Stock. Now they have to see who will be great at the major league level. To me the biggest question in Cincinnati is this: Is ELDC going to hit? If the answer is yes, they could think about moving a guy or two in a block buster trade if needed. But if the answer is no or maybe, they need all those guys to pick the next man from.

      • Stock

        I agree Greenfield. I think EDLC is a hard worker though. My gut tells me he will reduce his K% below 30% this year and below 25% by 2027. At that point he will sit next to Acuna, Witt, Corbin, Tatis, several prospects and possibly Oneil Cruz as the best offensive players in baseball.

    • Greenfield Red

      Something’s up. 2 minor league infielders in 24 hours. You may be right

      • Tom

        They are in heavy on Glasnow and Cease as of the last 4 hours. Competing with the Cubs on both. I wonder how the division stacks up next year. The Cubs underperformed and now have Counsel. It seems pretty tight, but I’d go Cubs, Reds, Cards, Brewers, Pirates right now – with lots more offseason to go.

      • Tom

        Would rather they sign Eduardo Rodriguez for 4 years than trade anyone.

    • BK

      The Reds could just be brining in players to fill out the Louisville roster. As mentioned above, the Reds appear to have a surplus of outfield depth (e.g., Fairchild, Barrero, Martini, Thompson, Hopkins, Hinds, Hurtubise plus Dunn who is not on the 40-man).

      In contrast, all of the promotions have left Louisville without infield prospects. With six major league infielders (plus Barrero), the Reds are likely just building AAA depth. No one that they have signed thus far is much of a threat to make the Opening Day roster.

  5. Stock

    Here is the way I see it. Without these two pick up the Reds are forced to keep Barrero on the 24 man roster. He would be insurance in case EDLC and McLain got injured or if one of the two had a major injury and was deemed out for the year.

    Now with reinforcements in Louisville they don’t need Barrero. During the season McLain and EDLC can handle SS just fine and if an emergency arises Marte can fill the void.

    This may sound strange but I think this increases the chances of India spending the year in Cincinnati. 13 position players are now the 10 who are projected to play every day, Maile and two of Fairchild, Martini or whomever they pick up between now and opening day.

    And call me crazy but isn’t Mathias better than Barrero?

    • BK

      Again, this looks like the Reds filling out the Louisville Roster. Of note, Mathias meets the provisions of the most recent CBA that affords him three opt-out opportunities. From mlbtraderumors:

      “Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association agreed to a new collective bargaining agreement just over a year ago, and one of the provisions in that CBA is uniform opt-out opportunities for Article XX(B) free agents on minor league deals. An Article XX(B) free agent is one with at least six years of service time who finished the previous season on a major league roster or injured list. Any such player who signs a minor league deal more than ten days prior to Opening Day can opt out of that deal at three points if they haven’t been added to the 40-man roster: five days before Opening Day, May 1 and June 1.”

  6. Mauired

    It amazes me how many people are so negative on Barrero. He has nearly the same amount of abs as McClain and De La Cruz got in basically half a season but his are spread out over four years. Reds should just keep him on the team for the whole year and give him playing time at every position besides catcher. He has to have a big spring to make the team like last year. But hopefully after his very successful AAA campaign, he’s finally ready to produce and live up to his potential. Still young. Friedl is 28 and just had his breakout season last year.