With the graduation of former catch Erick San Pedro, the catcher position was wide open when fall practice began at UM.
The top two candidates were sophomore Eddy Rodriguez and incoming freshman Alex Garabedian.
Rodriguez won the battle and secured the starting position behind the plate, but an area the ‘Canes still had questions about was Rodriguez's bat.
Known for his defense Rodriguez had not hit a home run through his first forty games.
He was hitting .176 until five games ago when something happened.
"I was struggling," Rodriguez said. "The hitting coaches helped me work on some thing. I had to fix some things on my swing and had to make contact."
And contact he's made plenty of.
Since then, Rodriguez has been mashing the ball hitting .526 over the past five games and has raised his average from .176 to .294 heading into this weekend's monstrous series against eighth-ranked Georgia Tech (19-3, 9-0 ACC).
If he thought Rodriguez would be the easy he'd been throughout much of his career thus far at UM, they are sadly mistaken.
No home runs through forty games? Long forgotten.
Get this, three home runs in the past three games.
The Cuba-native, Rodriguez, attributes it all to finally getting contact with the ball.
"As long as you make contact with the ball, you have a chance to put the ball in the hole," Rodriguez said. "When you strike out, you have no chance for anything. "It's good to make with the ball and see what happens from there."
At UM in 2005, possibilities of being a Hurricane and playing in the Major Leagues were but a dream for Rodriguez.
In 1993, Rodriguez was living in Cuba with his family when his parents decided it was time to come to Miami for a better life.
"At that age, I really didn't know how important it was for my parents to bring me here. I look back it was the best decision for my life. All the things I have experienced were able to happen because my parents decided to bring me to the United States."
And he's made the most of it. After playing high school baseball at Coral Gables High School just minutes from the University of Miami campus, there was no doubt where Rodriguez wanted to play in college.
"I remember the first letter I got from UM. It was just a questionnaire, but it was a great feeling," Rodriguez said. "When I got offered a scholarship, it was the happiest moment of my life."
He's been living the dream since then.
"It's a great honor to be a full-time starter at UM," Rodriguez said. "The year started off bad cause I got hurt in the first game, but to be starting at a school with so many great catchers in history is an incredible honor."
And for whatever thoughts that Georgia Tech may have had of having that easy out with Rodriguez the strong-armed great defensive catch can now smack the ball along with it as he's hitting .294 with 3 home runs, 11 RBI and a monster .529 slugging percentage.
Eddy Rodriguez on a Hot Streak
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