The Binghamton Buzz: Josh Rodriguez Is Raking, Wheeler Leads League In K’s

An article by posted on April 30, 2012

Ramblings from Henry and Fayette Streets

The Week That Was: April 23rd – April 29th

The Binghamton Mets played .500 ball this past week, losing two of three at home against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, while winning two of three on the road in Erie, PA over the weekend.  More importantly, though, was the return of Reese Havens against Erie on Sunday (where he promptly hit his first home run of the season on the first swing of the bat in 2012), as well as Zack Wheeler’s first win at Double A ball in the same game.  At weeks end, Wheeler was the top Binghamton starter as far as ERA was concerned, sitting at an impressive 1.75.  He also led the team in strikeouts as well with 30 so far this season over his five starts.  Also in two appearances during the week, reliever Elvin Ramirez continued his season long streak of no runs allowed, blanking New Hampshire on Wednesday night at NYSEG Stadium, as well as Erie on Friday night – a game in which he earned his first save of 2012 as well.  Matt den Dekker hit safely in four of six games he played in through the week, including two doubles, a triple, and two homeruns.  Juan Lagares went 4/19, with one triple to his credit, over the past week and at week’s end was hitting .240 for the season.

Wheeler earned his first Double A win on Sunday

Standings:

Club                                         W     L     PCT     GB

Reading Phillies                         15    7      .682       -

New Britain Rock Cats               14    9      .609     1.5

Binghamton Mets                     12    10    .545     3.0

New Hampshire Fisher Cats      10    12    .455     5.0

Trenton Thunder                        10    12    .455     5.0

Portland Sea Dogs                      7     17    .292     9.0

Player Profile: Shortstop, Josh Rodriguez

Josh Rodriguez, the latest Eastern League Player of the Week for the Binghamton Mets, has quietly produced in his first season with the team.  Rodriguez was signed to a minor league deal in March of this year after spending parts of the last six seasons as a member of the Cleveland Indians and Pittsburgh Pirates organizations.

Rodriguez, 27, attended Rice University in his hometown of Houston, Texas.  While playing for the Owls, he was named the Western Athletic Conference Freshman of the year in 2004, and in 2006 he was chosen as the NCAA Division I All-American Third Team third baseman.  While a member of the Rice Owls, Rodriguez played in 190 games with 229 hits in 686 plate appearances for a .334 average.

In the 2006 Major League Baseball draft, Rodriguez was picked by the Cleveland Indians in the second round, 57th overall.  This was actually the second time he was chosen in the Major League Baseball draft, the first being in 2003 in the 39th round by the Oakland Athletics, but he never signed with the A’s.   He began his professional career as a member of the Mahoning Valley Scrappers in 2006, and over the next five seasons made his way through the Indians minor league system with stops in Kinston, Akron, and Columbus.  While playing for the Single A Kinston Indians in 2007, he was named to the post season Carolina League All-Star team as a shortstop.

In December of 2010, Rodriguez was selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates first overall in the Rule 5 Draft held at the Winter Meetings.  He played seven games for the Pirates at the beginning of the 2011 season, but was designated for assignment towards the end of April.  The Indians re-acquired Rodriguez in this process, and sent him to the AAA Columbus Clippers.  Rodriguez would change organizations one more time in the 2011 season, somewhat, as the Indians traded him back to the Pirates in July for cash considerations.

In 2012, Rodriguez finds himself a member of the Mets organization.  Playing for Binghamton, he has appeared in 20 of the teams 22 games so far.  In that stretch, he is hitting .343, with an on base percentage of .465 and slugging percentage of .471.  He has two doubles and two home runs to his credit, and has stolen twice as many bases as he has been caught stealing – four and two respectively.  Early in the season, Binghamton manager Pedro Lopez had Rodriguez playing second base, but after the injury to Sean Kazmar he has moved back to shortstop.

After bouncing between the Pittsburgh and Cleveland organizations in 2011, hopefully Rodriguez has found a permanent address in the orange and blue as he has been a key contributor to the Mets in 2012.

Weekly Stats Snapshot

Where the Binghamton Mets matchup against the rest of the Eastern League.

Batters:

Jefry Marte – 6th in average at .365, 8th in on base percentage at .431, 9th in OPS at .931

Matt den Dekker – 5th in runs scored with 16, 7th in hits with 26, and 3rd with 8 doubles

Pitchers:

Zack Wheeler – 1st in strikeouts with 30, 5th in ERA at 1.75

Collin McHugh – tied for 2nd in strikeouts with 26

Quote Of The Week

A little team bonding was in order in Erie on Saturday night, as Darin Gorski (@darin_gorski20) tweeted ”I still can’t hear or see from the monster truck rally.  #wouldnthaveitanyotherway”

Did You Know?

In the 20 year history of the Binghamton Mets, only one player has hit for the cycle. Josh Satin completed the feat against the Bowie Baysox at Prince George’s Stadium on April 24, 2011.

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