RICHMOND, Ky. – Eastern Kentucky University senior shortstop Richie Rodriguez continues to rake in postseason awards, as he was recently named to the 2012 American Baseball Coaches Association/Rawlings All-South Region first team.
Rodriguez joins Southeast Missouri third baseman Trenton Moses (first team), Austin Peay second baseman Jordan Hankins (second team), Tennessee Tech first baseman Zach Stephens (second team) and Jacksonville State first baseman Ben Waldrip (second team) as Ohio Valley Conference representatives on the all-region team. The native of Miami, Fla. is the only player from a Kentucky university on the team. The south region consists of schools from conferences such as the OVC, the Southeastern Conference and the Atlantic Sun.
Rodriguez was named a first team All-American by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association earlier this month and is currently one of three finalists for the Brooks Wallace Shortstop of the Year Award. He started 216 consecutive games at shortstop for EKU and left 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 OVC 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.
Rodriguez was drafted by the New York Mets in the ninth round of this year’s Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. He is currently playing second base for the Class-A Short Season Brooklyn Cyclones.
He is the first Colonel to be named first team All-South Region since current Colorado Rockies starter Christian Friedrich earned the honor in 2008.