Getting To Know The Baseball Signees: Jake Rodriguez

Dec. 8, 2009

Jake Rodriguez recently signed his national letter of intent to join the Oregon State baseball team for the 2011 season. He is a native of Elk Grove, Calif., and attends Elk Grove High School

Rodriguez is rated as the No. 102 high school prospect in the nation by www.pgcrosschecker.com. He has earned all-conference honors in each of his three years and all-city twice. He played the 2008 USA U-16 Gold Medal winning club and served as team captain. Rodriguez batted .522 as a junior, collecting five home runs, 10 doubles, four triples, 12 stolen bases and 47 RBI. As a sophomore, he batted .536, posting a home run, four doubles, seven triples, five stolen bases and 21 RBI. In his first year at Elk Grove, he hit .358 with eight doubles, four triples and 27 RBI.

Rodriguez recently sat down with osubeavers.com to talk about his senior season goals, his impressions on the OSU pitching staff and what he remembers most about Oregon State prior to signing his letter of intent.

Q: What made you so interested in Oregon State? What was your biggest attraction to the school and the team?
Jake Rodriguez: “Oregon State has always been one of my top choices to attend since seeing them play at the College World Series. After coming in for a visit and meeting all of the coaches and seeing the school I was ‘in’.”

Q:
Tell me how it felt to sign your letter of intent? What was that experience like for you, your family and your friends?
Jake Rodriguez: “It has been a day that we have been waiting on for many years and we are very pleased that it happened at Oregon State. Since a young age I have always dreamed of playing Division I Baseball and to do it at Oregon State with this coaching staff and players is a dream finally coming true.”

Q: Now that you have signed, what is your goal for your senior season?
Jake Rodriguez: “Win one more Section Title and to prepare myself for the next level making sure I am ready to contribute in the fall and spring.”

Q: What was your first impression of the coaching staff and how did that change, if any, during the recruiting process?
Jake Rodriguez: “My first impression of the coaches was with Coach (Marty) Lees. I thought he was very intense and when I found out he coached the infielders I was very pleased because that is how I liked to be coached and how I like to play. When I met the rest of the staff; Coach (Pat) Bailey and Coach (Nate) Yeskie I again saw the type of coaching that I love to play for - teachers who are intense. When my family and I met Coach (Pat) Casey we knew we were where I wanted to be. My parents said that they would have left me there right away if possible because they knew he was the type of coach and person who would make me a better man and player. I am thrilled to be coming to Corvallis to play for this staff and community.”

Q: What is your first memory of Oregon State and why?
Jake Rodriguez: “My first memory is actually driving off of Highway 5 into Corvallis and telling my parents that ‘this felt like home in Wisconsin.’ After arriving at the school I was reminded of being in the Midwest and was blown away by the facilities and the town of Corvallis.”

Q: Did you watch the 2005, 2006 and 2007 College World Series? What about Oregon State do you remember?
Jake Rodriguez: “I was in Omaha playing in a tournament in 2006 and was able to watch the Beavers play a few games. Watching their team chemistry and their fan support was tremendous. After seeing them play in their ‘off white’ uniforms (the best in baseball) I knew I wanted to play in that uniform on that stage one day.”

Q: What’s the thing you enjoy most about baseball and why?
Jake Rodriguez: “Since I was 5 or 6 my dad was a high school coach and I used to go to all of the games in Chicago. I just love being around the game. Baseball is the toughest game in the world to play and when you play with a team and succeed together there is no better feeling.”

Q: Who has been the most influential person in your life and why?
Jake Rodriguez: “My parents; they have always given me and my brother and sisters every opportunity to succeed at whatever we were working toward in life. They are the two hardest working people I have ever met and have been the most influential people in my life and my brother and sisters’ lives.”

Q: What are some of the things you enjoy doing when you’re not playing baseball?
Jake Rodriguez: “I love baseball so I am at the field 5-6 days a week but when I have time I enjoy my friends and family and just hanging out with them. When we can I enjoy playing golf with my brother and father.”

Q: Are you a superstitious person? If so, what are some things you have to do every day or before a game?
Jake Rodriguez: “I have the same pregame workout every game which consists of the same routine I have been doing for years.”

Q: What is something that most people don’t know about you?
Jake Rodriguez: “One of my favorite things to do is ice fish and hunt.”

Q: If someone asked a good friend of yours to describe you, what do you think they would say?
Jake Rodriguez: “He has a great work ethic and works hard at being a great student and a great player; and is very funny.”

Q: Are you someone who has been active in the community? If so, what are some of the things you have done in the past?
Jake Rodriguez: “I coach at the summer baseball camps at Elk Grove High School and help my parents on a lot of projects at the baseball fields.”

Q: I assume that playing Major League Baseball is a goal of yours, but what else would you want to do once your playing days are over? Do you know what you’d like to study at Oregon State?
Jake Rodriguez: “If I am fortunate enough to succeed at Oregon State and have an opportunity to play Major League Baseball it would be my dream. After that I would like to obtain a degree in Education and then my Masters so I can one day, after playing baseball, become a Division I head coach.”

The official home of Oregon State Athletics, osubeavers.com, will have more Q&A features with the Oregon State baseball signees. Make sure to check back often and read more about the players who will be wearing the orange and black in the future.

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