Reds Prospects

3 Cincinnati Reds prospects who've fallen woefully short of lofty expectations

Cincinnati Reds third basemen Alfredo Rodriguez (69) looks down the line.
Cincinnati Reds third basemen Alfredo Rodriguez (69) looks down the line. / Sam Greene via Imagn Content Services,
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Oftentimes, teams and fans alike tend to overvalue their top prospects. In order for a small-market franchise like the Cincinnati Reds to have success, they cannot afford to make mistakes with some of their elite minor league talent.

While we've seen the Reds hit with such players as Tyler Stephenson, Jonathan India, and Tyler Mahle. Unfortunately, we've also seen some misses in recent years with the likes of Robert Stephenson, Alex Blandino, and while he's still part of the organization, Nick Senzel.

Today, I want to take a peek at some of Cincinnati's highly-rated prospects who've fallen woefully short of the team's lofty expectations. All of these players are still part of the Reds organization, however, it's questionable if these former top prospects will ever make their debut in the big leagues.

1. Reds SS Alfredo Rodriguez has fallen short of expectations.

Before there was Jeter Downs and Jose Barrero, the Cincinnati Reds had high hopes for Alfredo Rodriguez. Signed back in 2016, the now-27-year-old has never lived up to the hype that saw Cincinnati ink the Cuban shortstop to a $7M signing bonus.

Rodriguez's defense has never been the problem. In fact, he could be inserted into any team's starting lineup today and make every play on the defensive-side of the ball. Unfortunately for Rodriguez, he's never been able to figure out the other half of the equation.

Baseball, especially in today's game, is about more than just defense. Had Rodriguez been around 30 years ago, at the very least, he'd have been a utility infielder. But the game now requires shortstops to be more than just glove-first wizards on the infield dirt.

Alfredo Rodriguez finally spent an entire season at Triple-A last season after dipping his toe into the top-level of the minor league system in 2019. In 453 at-bats, Rodriguez hit .283/.333/.354 and put up a wRC+ of 86. Rodriguez has never seen a wRC above 100 in his five minor league campaigns.

You have to believe that 2022 is it for Alf-Rod. If he hasn't figured it out by now, it's doubtful he ever will. It's not as if the Cincinnati Reds are still coveting his services. The team failed to protect Rodriguez from the Rule 5 Draft the past two seasons, but no other team has taken a flier on the shortstop.