Negron with the Cincinnati Reds
February 1, 1986 |
Willingboro, New Jersey
|June 7, 2012, for the Cincinnati Reds|
(through August 18, 2015)
|Runs batted in||19|
Kristopher David Negron (born February 1, 1986) is an American professional baseball utility player in the Chicago Cubs organization. He has played for the Cincinnati Reds of Major League Baseball (MLB). He can play all four infield and all three outfield positions, although he splits most of his time between shortstop and center field.
Negron was born in New Jersey and later attended Vanden High School in Fairfield, California. He attended Cosumnes River College in Sacramento, California and in 2006 hit .361 with 78 runs scored and 31 steals. He was selected by the Boston Red Sox with their 11th pick (seventh round, 223th overall) of the 2006 First Year Player Draft.
Negron started his first professional season slow, batting .234 in his first 25 games for the rookie class Gulf Coast League Red Sox. However, over the final 16 games he hit .292 with two home runs and 10 runs batted in. He was promoted to the Class-A short season Lowell Spinners on August 26. In the playoffs for the GCL Red Sox, he went 2-for-13.
In 2007, Negron started the season with the Class-A Greenville Drive. He posted a .226 average with three home runs and 29 RBIs. However, his 29 stolen bases and a seven-game hitting streak to end the season helped earn him a promotion to the Class-A Advanced Lancaster JetHawks on August 31. He stole two bases in three gamed for the JetHawks.
Back in Greenville for the 2008 season, Negron hit .244 over 92 games. He showed his speed, stealing 25 bases and hitting five triples while scoring 50 runs. Negron played three games for the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs during a brief July call-up. Negron finished the season with the Lancaster JetHawks again. In 33 games, he hit .328 with seven home runs and 19 RBIs. The JetHawks made the playoffs, and Negron went 10-for-39 with two homers and seven RBIs in nine games, capped off with a 10th inning, three run walk-off homer in game 2 of the California League semifinal series.
Negron showed strong numbers against left-handed pitching in 2008, hitting a combined .355 with a .600 slugging percentage. He finished the season with a total combined average of .265. He set career highs with eight home runs, 24 doubles and 46 RBIs.
He spent the first 111 games of his 2009 season with the Salem Red Sox, the new Class-A Advanced team of the Red Sox. He hit .264 with three homers and 34 RBIs. He was traded to the Cincinnati Reds on August 14 for shortstop Álex González. After eight games with the Sarasota Reds, he was promoted to Double-A Carolina. He hit .241 in 54 at-bats.
Negron put up the strongest overall performance of his professional career in 2010 for the Mudcats. He hit .272 in 470 at-bats. Although his power numbers slightly dropped to six home runs and 41 RBIs, his on-base percentage increased to .344. He was promoted to Triple-A Louisville late in the season and went 4-for-21. Following the 2010 season, Negron was placed on the Reds 40-man roster.
On June 6, 2012, Negron was called up for the first time to the Major Leagues, and made his Reds' debut the next day as a pinch-runner against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Negron was called up to be a versatile bench player and to replace the struggling Mike Costanzo, despite the fact that Negron was hitting only .212 at Triple-A and in the midst of an 0-for-16 slump.
On June 14, 2012, Negron got his first Major League hit, a single off Scott Barnes, in the bottom of the fifth inning at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati. Later that inning, Negron scored his first MLB run when Brandon Phillips hit a single to left field. Spending most of the season in Louisville, Negron hit .218 with six homers and 20 RBIs. In 2013, all at Louisville, he hit .225 with five homers and 30 RBIs.
Playing in Louisville in 2014 and batting .269 for the Bats, in early July he was called up to the big leagues for the second time in his career, this time to fill in for the injured Brandon Phillips. On July 13, Negron, who was starting at second base, hit his first big-league home run, off starter Francisco Liriano, and tallied his first three RBIs in a 6-3 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. His playing time was significant for the injury-ravaged Reds; he made the most of it with a three-game stretch against the Cleveland Indians August 5–7, going a combined 7-15 with two doubles, one home run and five RBIs. On August 15 against the Colorado Rockies, he had his first four-hit game, going 4-4 with four singles and one RBI.