Negron seizing Majors opportunity with Reds
Utility player tabbed as Outstanding Player in Ohio Cup series win over Tribe
CINCINNATI -- It's been a long road to the Majors for utility man Kris Negron. But now that he's in the big leagues, he's making the most of his opportunity.
Negron, who was selected by the Red Sox in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft and traded to the Reds in '09, made his Major League debut in 2012 and appeared in four games for Cincinnati that season. Since being called up on July 10 of this season, the 28-year-old has performed well, coming on particularly strong at the plate recently.
In the Reds' Ohio Cup series win over the Indians, Negron was named Most Outstanding Player after going 7-for-13 (.538) with two doubles, a home run, five RBIs and four runs scored. He had a career-high three hits and three runs scored in Wednesday's victory.
After hitting three homers in 219 at-bats this season with Triple-A Louisville prior to his callup, Negron entered Thursday's series finale having hit three in 43 at-bats with the Reds.
"He's a guy that seized the opportunity," manager Bryan Price said. "He hasn't become a callous Triple-A player, and I think, unfortunately, that's what happens. I don't think it's uncommon. I do think it's human instinct: sometimes you wonder what you've got to do to get yourself out of Triple-A."
"You just never give up," Negron said. "I've been wanting to get up here and play my entire life, and you're not going to have a bad attitude or not give it my all. So I just told myself: 'You know what, I'm just going to play as hard as I can and leave it up to whoever's hands it's in.'"
Negron suffered a setback in 2012, his seventh season in the Minors, when he sustained ACL and medial meniscus tears in his right knee on July 5. The injury required season-ending surgery.
"Last year, the whole year, I had that big knee brace on, and I was kinda worried about it just because I had never been hurt in my life," he said. "It was a long season, but I went to Puerto Rico this offseason and I played for Caguas down there and didn't wear the knee brace. That helped me out mentally, and when I came to Spring Training, I felt healthy and rode it through Spring Training."
Price said Negron's confidence has been palpable over the last three weeks.
"I know when he's out there, he carries himself like he expects to be successful," Price said.