Thursday July 5, 2012UF Baseball's Steven Rodriguez Signs With Los Angeles Dodgers
Left-hander Steven Rodriguez (Miami, Fla.) recently signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers and will forgo his final year of eligibility at the University of Florida. He had been taken in the second round at No. 82 overall. Rodriguez becomes the eighth of the nine Gators from head coach Kevin OíSullivanís 2012 squad that was drafted in June to sign professionally.
Tabbed an All-American by Perfect Game for the first time in his career, Rodriguez was a first-team All-SEC pick to become the first Gator reliever to earn All-SEC accolades since Kevin Chapman was recognized in 2010. The left-hander had a 3-2 record in 34 appearances and paced UFís pitching corps with 81 strikeouts in 62 innings. Rodriguez registered a 2.18 ERA, notched four saves and limited opponents to a .211 batting average. He racked up 47 strikeouts and issued eight walks in 34.1 innings of work during league play and preserved both wins at third-ranked Kentucky. The southpaw worked 3.1 innings of one-run ball during the winnerís bracket game of the NCAA Gainesville Regional to preserve the 6-2 victory over No. 24 Georgia Tech.
In 2011, Rodriguez boasted a 4-2 mark with a 1.91 ERA in 32 appearances, including one start. He totaled 44 strikeouts and allowed 12 walks in 37.2 innings, collected a pair of saves and was part of three shutouts. The southpaw was 1-0 in 11 SEC appearances spanning 11.1 innings and had a 0.79 ERA. Rodriguez tied for the team lead with six appearances during the NCAA Tournament, when he was 1-1 with a 3.24 ERA and totaled 11 K in 8.1 innings.
During his freshman year in 2010, Rodriguez made 20 appearances and was 2-0 with one save and a 2.57 ERA. He struck out 26 batters in 28 innings of work and held opponents to a .259 batting average. Leadoff batters were just 4-for-25 (.160) against him and he limited foes to a .204 (10-for-49) clip with runners on base. Rodriguez earned the victory over Miami (Fla.) that put the Gators in the NCAA College World Series for the first time since 2005. That was part of a stretch of six-consecutive appearances in which he did not allow any runs.
Over his three-year tenure in Gainesville, Rodriguez compiled a record of 9-4 (.692), totaled seven saves and registered a 2.19 ERA in 86 appearances (seventh on the schoolís career list) and two starts. His career ERA is the lowest by a Gator pitcher since aluminum batters were introduced in 1974 and his total of 10.64 strikeouts per nine innings ranks No.1. Rodriguez notched 151 strikeouts and allowed 30 walks in 127.2 innings, while holding opponents to a .227 performance, tied for the eighth-lowest by a UF hurler.