Inspired by College Baseball Daily’s list of the top 100 college baseball players, BluGrass Baseball is counting down the top 25 returning Kentucky collegians in advance of the 2011 season. We continue the list today with a the top 2010 Kentucky OVC player.
No. 8 — SS Richie Rodriguez — Eastern Kentucky University
EKU junior shortstop Richie Rodriguez batted .357 with five home runs, 37 RBI and 55 runs scored in 2010. The Miami, Fla., native’s 2010 batting average ranks third among Kentucky returnees, his runs scored rank third and his 21 stolen bases rank second. Rodriguez started all 55 of EKU’s games last season and led the team in batting average, hits, stolen bases and total plate appearances.
In 32 games for the Covington Lumberjacks of the Valley League this summer Rodriguez batted .274 with four home runs 18 RBI and 23 runs scored. Rodriguez stole 15 bases in 16 attempts on the summer season and struck out just 12 times in 124 at-bats. The shortstop’s summer performance was honored with a Valley League all-star selection. Rodriguez was named a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American following the 2009 season.