1. Reds shortstop prospect Alfredo Rodriguez
The Cincinnati Reds haven’t had a top-level shortstop since the days of Barry Larkin. The Hall of Famer left the game in 2004, and since then the Reds have been searching for a “shortstop of the future”. Zack Cozart is the closest the Reds have come to filling the void left by Larkin. Alfredo Rodriguez definitely has defensive skills to play the position.
Many fans have directed their attention toward José García, and rightfully so. The young shortstop prospect opened the eyes of Reds Country back in March, going yard four times and racking up seven RBIs. However, before we’re ready to crown García as the heir apparent at shortstop, fans need to be mindful that he’s never played above Advanced-A ball.
On the contrary, Rodriguez was given a $7M signing bonus back in 2016. While the offensive aspect of his game has been slow to develop, Rodriguez may be the Reds best defensive option throughout the entire organization. Rodriguez has a plus-arm and plus-defense to go along with average speed.
Alfredo Rodriguez doesn’t offer the power that García does, but did how an uptick in his hitting last season and during spring training earlier this year. While playing in the Dominican Winter League, Rodriguez hit .309 with a .351 on-base percentage. While playing 14 games in Goodyear, the 26-year-old hit .364/.364/.606 with two home runs and four RBIs.