You asked for it, so we have it! The 2008 Gulf Coast League Post-Season All-Star Team has been announced with Cardinals outfielder Ryde Rodriguez among the 11 players chosen.
The 20-year-old Cuban native, now living in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, stood out during his first regular season action as a professional. Rodriguez finished fourth in the circuit in batting average (.329) and tied for ninth in RBI (28) for a 17-38 Cardinals club that had the second-poorest record in the league and the third lowest-scoring offense.
After 41 games in the GCL, the powerfully-built (6-foot-3, 232 pounds) right-handed hitter was promoted to the Johnson City Cardinals, where he went 5-for-15 (.333) in the Appalachian League to close out a most successful rookie campaign.
Cardinals Vice President of Amateur Scouting and Player Development Jeff Luhnow is excited about what he saw this season and plans to keep pushing the talented outfielder.
"I think he is going to be a tremendous baseball player. His work ethic is certainly there, his body is there. We just need to challenge him," explained the farm director.
Coming up soon, we will run an in-depth article for Scout.com subscribers outlining Rodriguez' progress as a professional as Luhnow and coach Mike Shildt offer much more on their views of the talented outfielder.
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Manager of the Year Tom Prince of the Pirates led his club to the Southern Division title with a league-best .661 winning percentage.
Most Valuable Player Esmailyn Gonzalez hails from the Eastern Division-winning Nationals.
The Phillies, represented on the All-Star Team by reliever Ryan Bergh and designated hitter Vladimir De Los Santos, were awarded the 2008 GCL Championship as they took two of three games from the Nationals.
In terms of All-Star selections, the Phillies, Nationals, Twins and Blue Jays dominated the team, with two players each.
Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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