Does Cincinnati Reds’ outfielder Yorman Rodriguez belong with the team?

Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /

A former top prospect, Cincinnati Reds’ outfielder Yorman Rodriguez has missed yet  another summer in the Queen City.

After signing with the Cincinnati Reds out of Venezuela eight years ago, Yorman has yet to make an impact at the big league level.  This was supposed to be Yorman’s year.  He was out of options and looked ready to challenge for time in left field with Adam Duvall.

Yorman never made it out of spring training.  He has had a series of leg injuries, while advancing through the minor league system.  The Reds have been waiting for him to make his appearance on the big stage.

Yorman isn’t as good as some people may have you believe, yet.  While some people would leave you to believe that Yorman is the best outfield prospect since Eric Davis, he is in fact just another outfielder. Here are things that people may not realize about Yorman.

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Yorman’s injuries have seemingly always held him down.

Yorman hasn’t played a full season since 2013, which was split between Single-A and Double-A.  He only has 50 home runs in nearly 2400 at-bats.  That translates to 15 home runs per season on the high side.  He also has 79 steals.  So he would be a 15-20 player.  That’s nice, but not elite.

Yorman also doesn’t hit for great average.  The only time that he has hit above .300 was in rookie ball.  He hit over .300 this season, but that was in only 11 games playing out a rehab assignment for the Dayton Dragons.  He’s a .262 lifetime minor league hitter.

Maybe his elite status comes from his ability to get on base?  Not so much.  Yorman has a .315 lifetime OBP in the minors.  His slugging percentage is a pedestrian .399.  To put that into perspective, that’s about the same as speedster Jose Peraza, who has carved out his own niche.

Cincinnati Reds outfielder Yorman Rodriguez
Cincinnati Reds outfielder Yorman Rodriguez /

Cincinnati Reds outfielder Yorman Rodriguez

This isn’t to drag down Yorman.  He projects as a number outfielder in the majors.  With the play of Scott Schebler since his latest call-up, Yorman might be a nice complement in right to Schebler.  A natural platoon might help both of them.

Yorman is a good defensive outfielder.  He has above average range factors in both right and center.  There is some question as to whether he could play center every day in the majors, but he has acquitted himself nicely in the minors.

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So the answer to the question is that he deserves a shot.  He’ll be battling Tyler Holt, Steve Selsky and potentially Jesse Winker for the fourth outfielder spot heading into spring training.  Of course the Cincinnati Reds could move Duvall to third, if Yorman really lights it up in the spring.