Pedro José Rodríguez, Jr.
Pedro José Rodríguez Román
- Bats Right, Throws Right
Pedro José Rodríguez, Jr. is the son of former Cuban national team star Pedro José Rodríguez, Sr. The younger Pedro represented Cuba in the 2000 World Junior Championship. In 2000-2001, he was named Serie Nacional Rookie of the Year, an award his father won 27 years earlier. Rodríguez had hit 15 home runs, one of which cleared the roof of Estadio Cinco de Septiembre. His father had done so several times before, but no one had done so since before Rodríguez Jr.
Rodríguez struck out 91 times for Cienfuegos in 2001-2002, leading the Cuban Serie Nacional. He starred in the 2002 World University Championship, hitting .320/.393/.840 with 4 homers and 12 RBI in 7 games, but also 10 strikeouts in 25 AB. He led the event in home runs (one over Michael Aubrey) and RBI (3 ahead of runner-up Aaron Hill) as Cuba won the Gold and Pedro was named the All-Star DH. In the semifinals, his 2-run homer was the only offense in Cuba's win over Taiwan. He struck out three times and walked once in the Gold Medal game, but Cuba beat the USA anyway, thanks in large part to Orelvis Avila's pitching. In the 2002 Haarlem Baseball Week, he had 2 singles, a triple and a homer in 15 at-bats, but struck out eight times.
In 2002-2003, Pedro set a Serie Nacional record by getting plunked 28 times in a season. In five seasons through 2003-2004, he had hit .265/.362/.495 with 75 home runs, 213 RBI and 76 times hit by pitch in 1,443 plate appearances. He had fielded only .918. He was out of Cuban ball, though, by 2006-2007.