OMAHA, Neb. – Eastern Kentucky University senior baseball player Richie Rodriguez has now been recognized as one of the top three shortstops in the country, as he was named a finalist for the coveted Brooks Wallace Shortstop of the Year Award on Friday at the College World Series.
Rodriguez joins Arizona’s Alex Mejia and Pepperdine’s Zach Vincej on the list of finalists. The winner of the award will be flown to Lubbock, Texas and honored at the College Baseball Hall of Fame’s Night of Champions on June 30.
Rodriguez was recently named a first team All-American by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. The native of Miami, Fla. started 216 consecutive games at shortstop for EKU before being drafted by the New York Mets in the ninth round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft two weeks ago. He left EKU as the school’s all-time leader in career hits (303), runs (209) and at-bats (865).
This season, the durable leadoff man helped EKU win a share of its first Ohio Valley Conference regular season title since 2000, batting .377 and leading the Colonels in almost every major offensive category, including home runs (14), runs (59), hits (80), doubles (18), total bases (146), walks (33), slugging percentage (.689) on-base percentage (.469) and OPS (1.158). Rodriguez also ranked in the top-30 in the country in slugging percentage, total bases, home runs, runs scored, runs per game (1.09) and home runs per game (0.26). He tied a school record with three home runs in a game against Indiana State on March 4 and he hit for the cycle in a game against UT Martin on May 5.
Rodriguez was also one half of a slick-fielding Colonel middle infield that ranked sixth in the country during the regular season with 1.11 doubles plays turned per game.
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