Cincinnati Reds in Review: 3B/2B Kristopher Negron


In a season of utter disappointments and unfulfilled expectations for the Cincinnati Reds, Kristopher Negron served as one of the bright spots of enthusiasm and optimism. Even with limited playing time, Negron was arguably the team’s most enigmatic member during his tenure with the club, and all but solidified himself a permanent spot on the team’s roster come 2015.

Kristopher Negron – Third Baseman/Second Baseman

I, much like you, would be confident in playing Negron at second base, third base, left field, point guard, wide receiver, mid-back, lacrosse goalie, and hell, I’d even put him on my bobsledding team. More than the fact that Negron looks like an athlete, he has showcased that he is one.

Many forget Negron’s four at-bats in 2012. They were nothing memorably, outside of the fact that he got his first Major League hit.

Here is why Negron is 28 years old and only during the Reds’ darkest hour did he get his first legitimate opportunity (if that’s what you can call 144 at-bats): to put it bluntly, Negron wasn’t very good in the minor leagues. The last time he hit .300 was during a partial season with the Lancaster JetHawks of the high-A Boston Red Sox organization in 2008. As recent as 2013, Negron hit only .225 with a .295 on-base percentage with Triple-A Louisville in over 350 plate appearances.

His numbers have never commanded a call-up. Yet, when given the chance in 2014, he succeeded wildly—maybe even more than many believed, due to the fact that it just looked like he was trying harder than everyone else on the field. A former seventh round pick of the Red Sox, Negron was a 28-year-old ballplayer with five career plate appearances at the beginning of this season. He wasn’t even on the Redlegs radar for being brought up, as evident by the fact of signing Ramon Santiago and Skip Schumaker last off-season.

Logic tells us that we should temper our expectations about what we expect out of Negron, a player who has historically not performed exceptionally. But there’s something about the guy who hustles in everything he does and is finally getting the chance to live out his Major League dream. It would be unwise to count Negron out.

Negron’s Stat Line:

.271/.331/.479, 144 AB’s, 6 HR, 17 RBI, 5 SB, 127 OPS+, 40 K, 2.1 WAR

Top Kristopher Negron Moment:

No Brandon Phillips, no problem. Well, not exactly, but it sure felt like it on July 13 when Negron got his first ever Major League start.

Francisco Liriano will live in Cincinnati Reds infamy as a villain. Defeating the Redlegs in the 2013 Wild Card Game, it tasted so sweet when Negron in his first at-bat as a starter in the Major Leagues went over the right field fence for an opposite way three-run home run off him. He promptly sprinted around the bases.

Negron would also have a 4-for-4 game against the Colorado Rockies on August 15, the only four-hit game of his career up to this point. You’re damn right he sprinted to first each time as well.

(The last game of the season saw Negron go 3-for-4 with two runs scored and a two-run home run that gave Johnny Cueto insurance as he sealed the deal on his 20th win of the season.)

Low-Point of the Season for Kristopher Negron:

Picking out a low-point for Negron feels like nitpicking, but during a stretch that lasted eight games from August 26-September 6, he would total 12 strikeouts, with at least one in each game.

Pitch recognition will be a vital component to expanding his game in the future, something that can only come with playing time.

Final Grade: B+

It may be an overzealous grade for Negron, but this all came from a player who wasn’t even supposed to be here. In the span of two and a half months, he went from a staple of the Reds minor league system, to their go-to man off the bench in literally any scenario.

A true super utility player, Negron can play any position on the diamond short of pitcher and catcher. And I wouldn’t bet against Negron that he couldn’t do those either.