2/28/2013 4:28 P.M. ET
Y. Rodriguez tries to right ship at Reds camp
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Outfielder Yorman Rodriguez didn't have the kind of 2012 season that normally leads to being added to the 40-man roster or inclusion to big league camp at Spring Training.
Rodriguez, who is only 20, batted .156 with no home runs and seven RBIs in 23 games for high Class A Bakersfield last year. He was demoted to Class A Dayton, where he batted .271 with six homers and 44 RBIs in 65 games.
"Talent was never the issue," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "It's getting your head and attitude right is part of growing up and hopefully becoming a man. That's why he's in camp. He really didn't deserve to be in camp."
Rodriguez is already in his fifth year in the organization after being signed on his 16th birthday out of Venezuela and given a $2.5 million bonus. Rated a five-tool player, his throwing arm was rated the best in the organization by Baseball America.
Through his first three games this spring, Rodriguez is 3-for-6 with one homer and five RBIs. In Wednesday's win over the D-backs, he was 2-for-2 with a solo homer and three RBIs.
"We're hoping being in camp and around the guys will help put him back on track," Baker said.
Reds like what they see from H. Rodriguez
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.
The 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion, Brad Keselowski, did a lap around Salt River Fields in his No. 2 car, and threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Keselowski got several thumbs-up from the Reds as he drove past the visitors' dugout.