QUEENSBURY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — At 9 a.m. sharp, Major League Baseball began an undrafted free agent signing period unlike any before. Because of the shortened draft, more than 1,000 extra players were on the market, and one Capital Region standout didn’t wait long to get scooped up.
At 9:01 a.m. Brett Rodriquez got a call from the Mariners organization. By 11:30 a.m. the Queensbury product became their newest member, fulfilling a lifelong dream.
It wasn’t the draft day he had imagined, but he called it surreal. He said he’s happy and grateful to be a pro ball player, even though the sport is taking some hits with the current return-to-play negotiations.
“I’m a baseball lover. I’m a baseball fan,” Rodriguez said in a Zoom interview Sunday evening. “I don’t think anything should really change with that. I love baseball and I’m just gonna go out and do anything I can to keep following my dream and hopefully get to the bigs.”
Rodriguez was set to transfer to Creighton as a grad transfer next year, but will instead begin his pro career, and he’s antsy to get started. In a typical year, the 6-foot senior would be on a plane to Arizona tomorrow to get a physical and start training, but with the pandemic, it’s wait and see.
The speedy infielder was productive at the plate at Wofford College, batting .294 with 93 RBI. He also broke a school record with 85 stolen bases.