This underrated Reds prospect should be untouchable at the MLB trade deadline

The Reds have seen several top prospects make their major league debut in 2023, but there are more on the way.

Daytona Tortugas outfielder Hector Rodriguez
Daytona Tortugas outfielder Hector Rodriguez / David Tucker\News-Journal / USA TODAY

Do you remember when the Cincinnati Reds traded Tyler Naquin to the New York Mets before last year's trade deadline? Naquin was supposed to give New York a left-handed platoon bat for their postseason run.

In return, Cincinnati received two lower-level prospects in right-hander Jose Acuña and outfielder Hector Rodriguez.

In hindsight, only the lopsided deal that sent Tyler Mahle to the Minnesota Twins in exchange for Christian Encarnacion-Strand and Spencer Steer was more impactful for the long-term future of the Cincinnati Reds organization.

Underrated Reds prospect Hector Rodriguez should be untouchable at the MLB trade deadline.

Hector Rodriguez has shot up the prospect rankings in the past few months. Rodriguez wasn't even on the radar prior to the 2023 season, but MLB Pipeline now sees the outfielder among the Top 30 in the Cincinnati Reds farm system.

Rodriguez's incredibly quick rise through the rankings as well as his unheralded potential makes him an intriguing option for other teams at the deadline. But the Reds should be quick to make the young outfielder untouchable.

Rodriguez, who's much younger than the majority of the competition in the Florida State League, is slashing .282/.331/.524 with 17 doubles, nine triples, 15 round trippers, and 47 runs batted in at this point in the season.

While the Cincinnati Reds may be looking to upgrade their starting rotation at the MLB trade deadline, one rising prospect who should be off limits is Hector Rodriguez. The Reds lack of outfield depth in the farm system is another reason for Cincinnati to cling tightly to the budding slugger.

After the Reds fleeced the Twins last summer, every major league team is afraid to be on the wrong side of a trade. Cincinnati would almost undoubtedly look foolish if they decided to part ways with Rodriguez at this year's trade deadline.

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