SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – At least one more Pheasant will see some sun this month. The Sioux Falls Pheasants announced on Friday that catcher Eddy Rodriguez signed with the San Diego Padres organization. Rodriguez will report to Padres spring training in Arizona and is expected to compete for a chance to play at the Class AA level.
Rodriguez demonstrated remarkable ability during the Pheasants run to the league championship in 2010. He batted .259 in 80 games, smacked 13 home runs – including two grand slams – and drove in 55 runs. Behind the plate, Rodriguez threw out 24 potential base stealers for a .261 percentage. He also guided the Pheasants pitching staff which had the second lowest ERA in the American Association and featured three postseason All-Stars.
"I'm very pleased for Eddy," Pheasants manager Steve Shirley said. "He has worked hard, and I believe he has the ability to make it at the Double-A level and go even further."
This is Rodriguez' second stint in affiliated baseball. A native of Cuba, Rodriguez was a 32nd round draft pick of the Cincinnati Reds in 2006. He reached their Class AA affiliate before moving to independent baseball in 2009.
Rodriguez is the second Pheasant to be signed by a major league organization this offseason. The Atlanta Braves signed Beau Torbert in October.
The Sioux Falls Fighting Pheasants are members of the American Association, a 14-team independent professional baseball league playing its sixth season this summer. The Pheasants home opener is Monday, May 16, 2011 against Winnipeg. Advertising and ticket information is available by calling (605) 333-0179 or visiting www.sfpheasants.com.