Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Highlighting top Reds prospects in 2013: Yorman Rodriguez

by: Jon Davis
Staff Writer

#9 Yorman Rodriguez OF

Here at number nine we find a prospect who has all the tools and athleticism to be an impact player in the big leagues one day, Yorman Rodriguez. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound right handed outfielder was signed out of Venezuela at 16-years old in August of 2008, he enters this year at age 20. Last year, he spent most of the year in Dayton, with a short stop in Bakersfield, where he struggled before going back to Single-A. Overall, he hit .241 with six homers, 51 RBI, 21 doubles, and 11 steals. In his four years in 1,153 plate appearances, he sports a .259 average and .303 on-base percentage.

Rodriguez is the epitome of a project, he is young and raw but his tools and natural ability give him a very high ceiling. It is the kind of ceiling that makes general managers and coaches drool over and get them to take a chance. He possesses a lot of raw power which he often shows in batting practice. He also has plenty of speed that could allow him remain in center, but he profiles more as a right fielder with the potential for good defense while he already has huge arm strength. Those are the positives, and the reason he is so high on this list.

The negatives are many, starting with questions about him not being able to get to some balls the way he should in the outfield. Whether this is due to either bad instincts or for not giving an all out effort is tough to say. He also doesn't utilize his speed on base paths like he could; he needs to learn how to become a base stealer. Yorman's main issue preventing him from reaching his ceiling is his plate discipline, leading to a lot of strikeouts and is holding him back. Keep in mind he is only 20 years old, so there is still plenty of time for him to realize his potential, but it appears there is a long way to go.

My guess is he will open the year in Bakersfield. He has many things to get figured out, so his development may take longer than would be expected. However, clearly the Reds have faith in him as he is already on the 40-man roster. We could see him in 2014, but that is probably not realistic, more likely 2015 at the earliest.

A look back on the previous prospect posts...
No. 1 - Billy Hamilton
No. 2 - Robert Stephenson 
No. 3 - Tony Cingrani 
No. 4 - Daniel Corcino 
No. 5 - Nick Travieso
No. 6 - Jesse Winker
No. 7 - Tanner Rahier
No. 8 - Kyle Lotzkar

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