Q&A with Mets 9th Round Pick Richie Rodriguez

With their ninth round pick in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, the Mets selected second baseman Richie Rodriguez out of Eastern Kentucky University. In this exclusive Draft Day Q&A, he talks about his process of being drafted by the organization, who he'd compare his game to at the big league level, if he's looking to sign quickly, and more.

InsidePitchMagazine.com: Tell us what it feels like to be selected by the Mets?

Richie Rodriguez: It's a great feeling, something I've worked for my entire life. The Mets are a great organization and I'm looking forward to being a part of it.

InsidePitchMagazine.com: Talk about your game a little bit. What type of player are you and how do you see yourself fitting in with the Mets?

Rodriguez: I feel like I'm the type of player that goes out every day and plays my hardest, gets the job done, and does whatever I can to help the team out in any way.

InsidePitchMagazine.com: The Mets drafted you as a second baseman. You played most of your college career at shortstop. Eastern Kentucky athletics lists as an infielder. Do you see yourself staying at one position? How do you think you'll be used?

Rodriguez: To be honest, wherever they put me I'll try to do my best. Second, shortstop, anywhere on the field. I know I'll go out there and perform my best.

InsidePitchMagazine.com: So how do you feel about your defensive game?

Rodriguez: It's improving, definitely a work in progress. The transition shouldn't be too hard for me, I've practiced second before. Coach wanted me to practice second and shortstop, so I think I'll be prepared for wherever they want me to play.

InsidePitchMagazine.com: What are your strengths and your weaknesses?

Rodriguez: My biggest strength is my passion for the game. I love going out there, I enjoy every second I'm out there on the field. I'd do anything to be out there. And weaknesses? That's pretty tough. Maybe my height. Playing pro ball, you know, everybody's six feet tall, it's rough.

InsidePitchMagazine.com: Who would you compare your game to at the Major League level so the Mets' fans have an idea of what your game is like?

Rodriguez: I'd say I'd lean towards Dustin Pedroia; hard-nosed defensive player, does anything he can for his team and he's big on execution. We're both middle infielders. He's a big small-ball player.

InsidePitchMagazine.com: You grew up in Miami and went to school in Kentucky. Were you expecting to be drafted by the Mets or were you surprised when they selected you?

Rodriguez: I was very surprised. I got numerous calls from teams and none of them showed as much interest as the Mets did. I was just very thrilled and didn't look back on it.

InsidePitchMagazine.com: What would you say is your best moment in baseball and why? On the field or off? From little league until your name was called today, on the field or off of it, your proudest baseball moment.

Rodriguez: Well [draft day] was the highlight of my life. It's just something I worked for my entire life. I thought I'd do it last year and it never went through. I came back for senior year and did everything in my power to get numbers up, increase exposure to scouts. Everybody in my family was excited. I got 60 text messages in one minute. It's been amazing.

InsidePitchMagazine.com: Who was your favorite team and player growing up?

Rodriguez: It's corny, but I grew up a Met fan, though living in Miami I became accustomed to the Marlins. My uncle is a big Mets fan, so I went to a couple of Mets-Marlins games, wore a Mets jersey. I really have been following the Mets for a long time.

InsidePitchMagazine.com: What are your immediate plans now that you have been drafted by the Mets? You're a senior, so I'm sure signing and starting your professional career is the next step.

Rodriguez: Yeah, I'm definitely going to sign. I'm gonna go off to wherever it is I'm asked and just work my hardest.


Amazin Clubhouse Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nInsidePitchMagazine.com: Tell us what it feels like to be selected by the Mets?
\r\n
\r\nRichie Rodriguez: It's a great feeling, something I've worked for my entire life. The Mets are a great organization and I'm looking forward to being a part of it.
\r\n
\r\nInsidePitchMagazine.com: Talk about your game a little bit. What type of player are you and how do you see yourself fitting in with the Mets?
\r\n
\r\nRodriguez: I feel like I'm the type of player that goes out every day and plays my hardest, gets the job done, and does whatever I can to help the team out in any way.
\r\n
\r\nInsidePitchMagazine.com: The Mets drafted you as a second baseman. You played most of your college career at shortstop. Eastern Kentucky athletics lists as an infielder. Do you see yourself staying at one position? How do you think you'll be used?
\r\n
\r\nRodriguez: To be honest, wherever they put me I'll try to do my best. Second, shortstop, anywhere on the field. I know I'll go out there and perform my best.
\r\n
\r\nInsidePitchMagazine.com: So how do you feel about your defensive game?
\r\n
\r\nRodriguez: It's improving, definitely a work in progress. The transition shouldn't be too hard for me, I've practiced second before. Coach wanted me to practice second and shortstop, so I think I'll be prepared for wherever they want me to play.
\r\n
\r\nInsidePitchMagazine.com: What are your strengths and your weaknesses?
\r\n
\r\nRodriguez: My biggest strength is my passion for the game. I love going out there, I enjoy every second I'm out there on the field. I'd do anything to be out there. And weaknesses? That's pretty tough. Maybe my height. Playing pro ball, you know, everybody's six feet tall, it's rough.
\r\n
\r\nInsidePitchMagazine.com: Who would you compare your game to at the Major League level so the Mets' fans have an idea of what your game is like?
\r\n
\r\nRodriguez: I'd say I'd lean towards Dustin Pedroia; hard-nosed defensive player, does anything he can for his team and he's big on execution. We're both middle infielders. He's a big small-ball player.
\r\n
\r\nInsidePitchMagazine.com: You grew up in Miami and went to school in Kentucky. Were you expecting to be drafted by the Mets or were you surprised when they selected you?
\r\n
\r\nRodriguez: I was very surprised. I got numerous calls from teams and none of them showed as much interest as the Mets did. I was just very thrilled and didn't look back on it.
\r\n
\r\nInsidePitchMagazine.com: What would you say is your best moment in baseball and why? On the field or off? From little league until your name was called today, on the field or off of it, your proudest baseball moment.
\r\n
\r\nRodriguez: Well [draft day] was the highlight of my life. It's just something I worked for my entire life. I thought I'd do it last year and it never went through. I came back for senior year and did everything in my power to get numbers up, increase exposure to scouts. Everybody in my family was excited. I got 60 text messages in one minute. It's been amazing.
\r\n
\r\nInsidePitchMagazine.com: Who was your favorite team and player growing up?
\r\n
\r\nRodriguez: It's corny, but I grew up a Met fan, though living in Miami I became accustomed to the Marlins. My uncle is a big Mets fan, so I went to a couple of Mets-Marlins games, wore a Mets jersey. I really have been following the Mets for a long time.
\r\n
\r\nInsidePitchMagazine.com: What are your immediate plans now that you have been drafted by the Mets? You're a senior, so I'm sure signing and starting your professional career is the next step.
\r\n
\r\nRodriguez: Yeah, I'm definitely going to sign. I'm gonna go off to wherever it is I'm asked and just work my hardest.
\r\n
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