SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Reds infield prospect Henry Rodriguez has been on a tear through the early games of spring. The switch-hitter was batting .700 (7-for-10) in four games entering Thursday.
Rodriguez, 23, has impressed with his bat as he's worked his way up the system, and his skills as a hitter are Major League-ready. But it remains to be seen if he can land a spot out of camp as an extra infielder on the Reds' crowded roster.
"I liked what I saw last spring. Henry can hit," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "[Minor League manager Ken Griffey Sr.] told me he has a knack for driving in runs, which is one of the most important things you can do. A lot of guys can hit with nobody on base, but few guys can drive in runs. He's calm and he's cool."
In 84 games with Double-A Pensacola and Triple-A Louisville last season, Rodriguez batted .284 with five home runs and 35 RBIs. He missed most of May and June to have a torn ligament and tendon repaired in his left thumb.
Rodriguez, who is ranked No. 10 among the Reds' 2013 prospects by MLB.com, made up for the lost time by playing winter ball in his home country of Venezuela and batted .288 in 44 games.
"Right now, I have to be a bit guarded with the guys who played winter ball, because they're months ahead of guys that didn't play winter ball," Baker said.