Cincinnati Reds: Strong spring could find Alfredo Rodriguez on the roster

The Cincinnati Reds lack depth behind Freddy Galvis at shortstop. A strong showing this spring by Alfredo Rodriguez could help him snag a roster spot.

Reds fans have been advocating for the team to make a blockbuster trade this offseason in search of an All-Star shortstop. Francisco Lindor and Corey Seager have been the objects of Reds Country’s affection this winter. While Freddy Galvis is a capable shortstop, the Cincinnati Reds have little speak of as quality back up. Could Alfredo Rodriguez fill that role?

I’m sure a lot of Reds fans are saying, “Who in the world is Alfredo Rodriguez?” To be honest, unless you’re a die-hard follower of Cincinnati’s farm system, it’s a fair question. Rodriguez has been part of the Reds organization since the club signed him out of Cuba in 2016. Rodriguez received a signing bonus of $6M.

Rodriguez is a glove-first shortstop.While many fans have grown tired of a defensive specialist who can’t hit, Rodriguez has shown improvement at the plate. After struggling in 2018, barely hitting above .200, Rodriguez put together a solid season at Double-A Chattanooga last year, slashing .286/.325/.347 with 18 doubles and 13 stolen bases.

Rodriguez’s surprise offensive outburst earned him a promotion to Triple-A Louisville near the tail end of the 2019 season, playing in 23 games for the Bats, but only hitting .169 with a .261 on-bas percentage. Rodriguez had just four extra base hits in 77 at-bats while playing the final month of the season in the Derby City.

But don’t let that porous hitting performance sour you to the prospect of Alfredo Rodriguez’s continued growth within the Cincinnati organization. The 25-year-old currently rates as the team’s No. 17 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, a 12-spot jump from where Rodriguez was to begin his 2019 campaign.

Rodriguez is a non-roster invitee to this year’s Cincinnati Reds spring training in Goodyear, Arizona. While Cincinnati has Alex Blandino and Kyle Farmer on the 40-man roster, both of whom are capable of playing shortstop in a pinch, neither possesses the elite-level defense that Alfredo Rodriguez brings to the table.

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It seems unlikely that Rodriguez would unseat either Blandino or Farmer as part of the 40-man roster, but a solid showing at the plate during spring training could go a long way towards a call-up at some point this season. With Eugenio Suárez potentially starting the season on the injured list, Rodriguez may find a way to sneak onto the Opening Day roster.

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