The third installment on our look at the Reds prospects in the Arizona Fall League focuses on infielder Kris Negron.
The timing of this is almost impeccable as Negron was recently announced as the AFL’s player of the week for week 5. Very deserved honor, too, especially considering another big name that was considered, Seattle’s Dustin Ackley. Negron posted a .368 average and added a couple of homers with 5 RBI.
A brief history on Negron. He wasn’t a selection of the Reds. He was selected in the seventh round by the Boston Red Sox in the 2006 draft. In 2009, Negron came over from the Red Sox in the deal for shortstop Alex Gonzalez. The move has seen a bit of a spark to Negron’s offense. When he was traded, he was already known for carrying some good leather.
One of the aspects you have to love about Negron is his versatility. While a member of the Red Sox organization, he played a total of six different defensive positions. The only positions he didn’t play were first, catcher and pitcher. All that movement despite the fact Negron was drafted as a shortstop.
After moving into the Reds farm system, Negron hasn’t had to own so many different gloves. He has played the outfield and third on occassion, but his primary position has been at short. It has shown in his offensive numbers as Negron hit double digit homers (11) for the first time in his minor league career.
Another part Negron’s game is speed. A lot of Reds prospects seem to have it and Negron is no different. 35 thefts in 44 attempts which is a 79.5% success rate. Not too bad.
When he was promoted from Double-A Carolina to Triple-A Louisville in late August, Negron was shifted to second base. Chris Valiaka was with the big league squad. If you’re wondering for another reason why the move to second, that answer is Zack Cozart. Need more be said?
But don’t the Reds already have another second base guy in Valaika? Yes. And isn’t shortstop a popular position with Cozart and Paul Janish? The answer to that is yes as well. So, should outfield be more in his future? Stubbs, Bruce, and Heisey are all potential long-term Reds. There’s also Dave Sappelt and Todd Frazier. And don’t totally rule out Daniel Dorn either. He’s played left field more than any other position during his career in the Reds organization.
So where is Negron’s fit in the Reds future? The answer very well could be all of the above. Sometimes, those that are flexable are the biggest help. Ask Walt Jocketty about Miguel Cairo.
Update: As of Friday, Negron is now on the 40-man roster.