December 11, 1972 |
Brooklyn, New York
|April 26, 1995, for the Boston Red Sox|
|Last MLB appearance|
|July 22, 2001, for the Cincinnati Reds|
|Earned run average||5.53|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Dick Howser Award|
Rodriguez grew up in Brooklyn, New York during one of its most violent periods. He attended Eastern District High School in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. He was a star and despite only being six feet tall and 160 pounds, he was able to throw the baseball 90 miles per hour with ease. Always feared and notoriously known for being an extremely fierce competitor, Rodriguez dominated in high school. Although Rodriguez's hitting ability is often overlooked, during high school he was able to hit the baseball almost 400 feet. During the summer he played for the famed and nationally recognized Youth Service League. Under the coaching direction of New York City legend, Mel Zitter, Rodriguez along with former Red-Sox, Manny Ramirez, led the Youth Service League to a national title.
Rodriguez won the Dick Howser Trophy in 1991. At the time of the award, Rodriguez was playing for Howard Junior College in Big Spring, Texas. As the equivalent of the Heisman Trophy for college football, The Dick Howser Trophy is the annual national award for the outstanding collegiate baseball player. Since 1991, no other Junior College Baseball Player has won the award. Rodriguez was an outstanding Shortstop and Pitcher for the Howard College Hawks and he led his team to the 1991 National Junior College World Series Championship held annually in Grand Junction, Colorado.
Rodriguez was drafted as a shortstop by the Boston Red Sox in the second round of the 1990 amateur draft. An agreement was reached a few weeks into the 1991 season, after which he was assigned to the Class A-Short Season Elmira Pioneers. When his new teammates greeted him at the Elmira-Corning Regional Airport, the Brooklyn native was wearing clothes that bore the New York Yankees logo. After Rodriguez advanced to Class A Lynchburg Red Sox, the Red Sox realized he had greater value as a pitcher, a position he quickly began playing. He made his major league debut for the Red Sox in 1995.
Soon after, he was traded to the Minnesota Twins for closer Rick Aguilera. He did not pitch well for the Twins, posting a 25-32 record with the team in over three years of service. The Seattle Mariners claimed him off of waivers in May 1999. He played for the Mariners through the end of the 2000 season. He played for the Cincinnati Reds in 2001 and has not pitched in the majors since. He has a career record of 29-39 and an ERA of 5.53.
In 2008 he returned to Pro Baseball playing for the Newark Bears of the Atlantic League where he pitched a 2-1 record, with a 7.79 ERA.
Rodriguez is currently the pitching coach at SUNY Maritime College in the Bronx.