Cincinnati Reds prospect Hector Rodriguez was named as the Dominican Winter League Rookie of the Year. The outfielder has spent the fall and winter playing with Escogido, where he’s helped them to a 26-24 record and a spot in the playoffs.

Hector Rodriguez wound up being the second youngest player in the league this season, but the youngest player only played in two games while Rodriguez racked up 160 plate appearances on the season. He and Jansel Luis were the only two teenagers to appear in the league all season long.

Rodriguez finished the regular season with a .309/.344/.487 line. The outfielder had 10 doubles, 4 triples, and 3 home runs. That is slightly deceptive, though, as one of his triples was actually a home run – but he missed stepping on home plate and was called out, resulting in his being credited with a triple on the play. Even so, his .831 OPS on the season was 4th best in the league. His 10 doubles were tied for the 3rd most, his four triples led the league, and his three homers were tied for 9th place in the league.

Some of the ballparks in the league have ball tracking, so we’ve got a little insight (but incomplete). In a funny twist of fate or whatever you want to call it, the two hardest hit balls this winter for Hector Rodriguez came off of former Cincinnati Reds pitchers. He lined out at 105.6 MPH against Pedro Strop on December 15th. On November 30th he homered off of Alfredo Simon at 104.2 MPH. His 5th hardest hit ball was another homer off of Alfredo Simon on December 16th at 102.7 MPH.

In total we had 89 batted balls worth of data from Rodriguez in the Dominican Winter League Regular season. He topped out at 105.6 MPH, averaged 84.2, and his “Best 50” score was 94.0. During the regular season with Daytona his “Best 50” score was 96.7 MPH. If you missed the article from earlier this month on Reds prospects and their “Best 50” exit velocity scores, here’s the link for that.

The playoffs begin tonight in the Dominican Winter League. Rodriguez and Escogido will host Estrallas tonight at 6:15pm ET.

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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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19 Responses

  1. MBS

    Hopefully Hector Rodriguez will have 1 more rookie of the year award in a couple of years. He had a great 2023, I’m looking forward to seeing him and Jorge build on their 23’s next year.

    • DaveCT

      It’ll be really interesting to see if HRod can start hitting the ball harder as he physically matures and hones his craft. In Doug’s (excellent) recent article on exit velo’s, Hector was in the bottom half of those in the system we have data on. It’ll take someone more savvy than me to check out Altuve’s power measures, as well as Ozzie Albie’s, who’d be another comp for ceiling, as related to undersized ML’s. Whether we can even get the Trackman or otherwise data at Hi-A remains to be seen.

      Side note: It has to be frustrating for these kids to have access to Trackman data in the AZ complex league as well as at Lo-A, then not get any again until AAA. I don’t understand how MLB can introduce minor leaguers in their initial seasons to the latest tech, then basically deprive them of it during two of the most difficult jumps in competition.

      • Stock

        Altuve 122 out of 258 in Barrel % (5.9%)
        Altuve 242 out of 258 in Average Exit Velo (86 MPH)

        Albies 107 out of 258 in Barrell % (6.2%)
        Albies 161 out of 258 in Average Exit Velo (88.7 MPH)

    • Redsvol

      I just love this guy. He has hit absolutely everywhere. We all make excuses for reds prospects not hitting at a certain level or league but with hector we haven’t had to!

      I remember being worried about McLain’s Arizona fall league stats and making excuses for him. Hector “no excuses” Rodriguez!

      I wouldn’t want to see this guy traded. We need outfielders. Trade one or two of the middle infielders that we seem to have excess of.

  2. RedBB

    #3 on my list of INTL Reds prospects now behind Cabrera and Duno

  3. Doc4uk

    This looks like one of Kralls better trades. Naquin and Diehl for Acuna and Rodriguez. Acuna may have been one of the best pitchers at Dayton . Both have a chance to make it to the big leagues or at least provide solid trade value for Starting Pitching. Really good scouting!

    • Old Big Ed

      Krall is pretty good. The Mets, though, are nuclear-level stupid.

      • Jason Franklin

        Shhhh.. you are not allowed to praise Krall here! :) He has done a good job in a whole lot of ways as the GM. We still don’t know if he had his hands tied behind his back at last years trade deadline (due to brining on costs). Let’s hope he adds another couple pieces this offseason and that the team gets off to a hot start.

  4. justafan

    Doug explained recently how the baseball draft was handled by a decision-maker other than Krall, what is the normal process for evaluating a trade and how many staff are consulted?

    similarly, Farmer was brought back for one-year, obviously he took the best and possibly only offer. However, Reds management after surveying available free agent reliief pirchers contracted with him. Again I wonder about the internal decision-making process. thx

    • DaveCT

      Not Doug but I suspect the process for evaluating players in trades is parallel to the draft. That is, scouts do their thing and pass recommendations up to the scouting director who then does the same to the GM (or next in chain).

      • Doug Gray

        I think that it can be sort of similar, but different. There is so much more information out there on professional players than amateur players – even guys that played in the SEC for like 3-4 years. First off, they’re all playing against other pros. That matters when accumulating the data. Wood bats matter, too. There’s also a big chance that the amount of data you’ve got on pros is a lot larger.

        I can’t speak exactly as to how the initial contact is made for a trade, but there are many public examples where someone other than the GM or POBO is running point on the deal. Generally someone who is an assistant GM. That doesn’t mean they are getting the final say or anything, but they might be the one doing the back and forth (and then running it by their boss for more of a “yes” or “no” kind of thing).

        They’ll have discussions that involve their scouts who have seen the player in person in the past, they’ll talk with the analytics group about what they see with the player, etc.

        I think the big difference between the draft and the trade stuff is that in the draft it’s almost always going to be the scouting director making the final call on the pick. With a trade, it’s going to be whoever is at the top of the organization (some teams don’t have a POBO, so it would be the GM in that case).

    • DaveCT

      Baseball America did an article last season regarding how teams are getting better at evaluating talent acquired through trades.

      • Optimist

        Did they mention analytics staff? If it’s a trade of MLB talent, I expect at that point there would be more reliable data to add into whatever scouting reports uncover – i.e. you’d have specific park, and team vs. team performance to look at – fewer variables than, say, looking at NCAA D1, or DWL, or Low-A performance.

        You’d also be able to get input from existing roster veterans (especially catchers).

  5. ptaylor2112

    I had no idea Alfredo Simon was still kicking around at age 42. He had an All Star season for the Reds in 2014, then was traded to Detroit for Eugenio Suárez. The Reds required Alfredo in 2016 but the magic was gone.

    • Doug Gray

      There’s decent money for playing in the Dominican. It’s been a few years since I’ve seen salary numbers, but I want to say in 2020 or 2021 the league minimum was $2700 a month, but established players (big leaguers, likely) were getting up to $25,000 a month. That’s not big league money, but it’s not bad at all.

    • Jason Franklin

      One of the best trades by the Reds in recent memory (beyond the Twins trade).