After signing with the Mets in 2021 out of the Dominican Republic, Hector Rodriguez moved stateside in 2022. He began the year with the Mets complex team in Florida and spent a few games with their Single-A team as a fill in before returning to the other side of the complex to rejoin the rookie-level Mets. But at the trade deadline he was moved in a deal to Cincinnati where he played for the Arizona Complex League team for two weeks before joining Daytona for a few weeks of his season before an injury cost him the final few weeks of the regular season.

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After finishing up the 2022 campaign in Daytona, the Cincinnati Reds sent Hector Rodriguez back to join the Tortugas to begin 2023. While he did homer twice in the first week, Rodriguez got out to a slow start. In 16 games in April he hit just .185.

Things turned around quickly when the calendar flipped to May. The outfielder had hits in eight of his first nine games of the month and he didn’t look back for the next two months. From the start of May through July 7th he hit .336 with 15 doubles, 8 triples, and 11 home runs in 51 games. For as hot as he had been, he slumped hard over the rest of July and went just 9-60 (.150) with one walk.

When August began he picked up the pace and had four games where he got on base at  least twice to begin the month and kept on going for the next three weeks, going 27-75 (.360) before he was promoted to High-A Dayton. Over the final two-and-a-half weeks of the year he hit .294/.309/.373 with the Dragons.

For all 2023 Season Reviews and Scouting Reports – click here (these will come out during the week throughout the offseason).

Hector Rodriguez Scouting Report

Position: Outfield | B/T: L/R

Height: 5′ 8″ | Weight: 186 lbs. | Acquired: Trade (Mets, 2022), International FA (2021) | Born: March 11, 2004

Hitting | He has a slightly above-average hit tool.

Power | He has slightly below-average power.

Speed | He has slightly above-average speed.

Defense | He’s an average defender.

Arm | He has an above-average arm.

A switch hitter in the previous two seasons, Hector Rodriguez dropped hitting from the right side in 2023 and focused on things from the left-handed batters box. He didn’t skip a beat and actually put together his best season at the plate as he crushed 16 home runs to go along with 25 doubles and 10 triples.

Despite some big power numbers, particularly for a teenager in the pitcher friendly Florida State League, his power projects to be a little below-average at the big league level – at least when it comes to home run power.

His hit tool is above-average. Even with hitting from the left side only in 2023 he still showed an ability to use the entire field and he hit left-handed pitching better than he did right-handed pitching.

In the past he showed plus speed, but that did not show up in 2023. He was still an above-average runner, but his times to first and his sprint speed as measured by Hawkeye in the Florida State League weren’t top of the scale like they may have been in the past. Perhaps his leg injury that required surgery in 2022 cost him a step, but he’s still got enough speed to handle center. Still relatively new to the position, though, he needs to continue to make some improvements that are likely to come with more reps at the position. The tools are there to be an average defender at the position.

Moving forward it will be worth keeping an eye on as to both his power and how it plays at higher levels, as well as his walk rate, which has been on the low end of things for his career – it was just 5.6% in 2023. Pitchers will have to respect his power enough that they can’t just groove things – he will make them pay for that. But if he can bump up his game power grade just a little bit his profile could get quite a bit more interesting. He’s still a teenager and won’t turn 20 until spring training rolls around, so perhaps with age will come a bit more patience at the plate, too. Adding a handful of walks could go a long way.

Video

Hector Rodriguez Spray Chart

Interesting Stat on Hector Rodriguez

He crushed left-handed pitching in 2023, hitting .355/.378/.562 against them in 127 plate appearances.

13 Responses

  1. MBS

    Rodriguez and Jorge, 2 short left handed middle infielders being moved into the OF. It seems an odd choice. Their numbers were very similar last year. Was it their infield defense wasn’t up to snuff, or an attempt to increase their value in CF since it’s a premium position? I’d like them to keep Jorge at 2B if his defense is average or better there. Rodriguez seems to have transition to the OF better than Jorge did.

    Rodriguez .293/.343/.495 16 HR
    Hit 50 Power 45 Run 60 Arm 45 Field 50 Overall 45

    Jorge .282/.374/.464 12 HR
    Hit 50 Power 45 Run 55 Arm 45 Field 50 Overall 50

    • DaveCT

      I tend not to read too much into Jorge’s brief stint in the outfield. It helps my sanity. Why would anyone promote a guy and change his position at the same time? My take at the time was they had a need, with Jay Allen getting hurt again, and given Tyler Callihan being a regular at 2B. Whereas Rodriguez had already begun playing the OF when we got him. Besides, that’s one function of the instructional leagues.

      Speaking of Instructs … Doug, any word on this off season’s program?

      • Doug Gray

        I honestly didn’t hear too much out of instructs this year. I’ll take that for what it’s worth – there probably wasn’t anything to really note and that no one did anything unexpected so to speak.

    • Doug Gray

      Rodriguez made the move to the outfield earlier (he actually played there some in 2021, and then quite a bit in 2022). If Jorge keeps playing out there for the next two years maybe he’ll look better, too (I’d guess he would since it seemed much of the “issues” were stuff you gain with experience).

      I think the move was in part because there just are so many infielders and he’s got the speed to really make it work. It opens up some playing time in the minors for others (and for him), and it also gives him both the versatility down the line if he can’t grab a starting spot in the big leagues, or opens a potential spot for him as a starter down the line in the big leagues if an outfield spot is open and a second base spot isn’t.

    • MK

      Herctor is far, far ahead of Jorge in outfield defense. H-Rod takes good routes to balls over his head and in the gaps while Jorge has a lot of work to do. I’ve mentioned it before but Hector reminds me a lot of Joe Morgan in body style, hitting and running mechanics.

  2. DaveCT

    Curious about the power eval for Rodriguez. 16 homers and slugging .510 in those Florida parks (.501) career) seems good. Is it his exit velocities that indicate below average future power?

    • Doug Gray

      His exit velo’s are solid, but nothing that really sticks out, either. I do think that there’s *likely* some “he’s short” bias in some of the reports I’ve seen/heard from others, but I also think that there is some stuff that suggests he’s more likely to be on the sub 20-homer total than the above 20-homer total. That said – he’s also 19-years-old and he’s probably going to get stronger and probably likely to hone in on a slightly better “swing zone”, which may improve his power output, too.

      I’m working on something this week with the Daytona and Louisville guys where we’ve got Hawkeye data right now with regards to their “power/hard hit” stuff. I’m not even halfway finished right now, though, so I can’t speak specifically to where Rodriguez fits in with that by comparison to the group I’m looking at.

      • Optimist

        This may be a quirky f/u to the “he’s short” bias. Altuve is the obvious extreme value outlier, but I was recalling Ronald Torreyes – would these 2 already project ahead of him, and if so, how far. Torreyes worked his way into a pretty useful 7 year MLB career, and it looks like this may be the floor for these two, especially if they develop both IF and OF versatility.

      • Doug Gray

        Torreyes was rail thin. Rodriguez is short, but not small. Not really sure that there’s a good comp there.

      • DaveCT

        Optimist, two other floor comps may Shed Long and Henry Rodriguez

      • Optimist

        Shed may not have had quite the breakouts these 2 have had, and he was a bit curious with the C background. That caught my eye at the draft so I followed him thru MiLB – he was very good in Daytona, but plateaued at AA. Hector/Jorge seem to be higher regarded prospects, and have better hit tools, which is what I recalled from Torreyes.

        Didn’t follow Henry that much.

  3. Redsvol

    Of all the swing videos I’ve watched of the prospects posted thus far there are two that stand out to me. Sal Stewart and this one. Hector is built. I can’t believe he is only 19.

    Based on Mk’s reporting on his defense and his offensive profile, it seems like Hector Rodriguez is bound to climb fast next year. I love that swing!