Ferdinand Rodríguez (Boi) last name sometimes given as Rodrígues, nickname rarely given as Boy
- Bats Left, Throws Right
- Height 6'0" or 6' 1", Weight 180 to 205 lb.
- School Indiana State University
Boi Rodríguez hit over 250 home runs in a minor league career spread out over 16 years and also spent three years playing baseball in Asia. Three times, he led his league in RBI and he also led at least once in home runs.
In 1985, Rodríguez drove in 82 runs in 76 games for Indiana State University, tying Jeff King for 18th in NCAA Division I. The next season, he was on the USA national team and hit .330/~.357/.521 while splitting third base with Dave Hollins. He led the team in home runs (8), clubbing more than Steve Finley (6) or John Vander Wal (3). He was not on the team for the 1986 Baseball World Cup, Hollins getting the nod there.
1987-1990: Montréal minor leaguer
After attending Indiana State University, Rodríguez was taken in the fourth round of the 1987 amateur draft by the Montréal Expos, one round after they drafted John Vander Wal and one round before Archi Cianfrocco. He began his career with the Jamestown Expos that year and was rated the #4 prospect in the New York-Penn League by Baseball America after leading the loop in total bases (141), RBI (65), game-winning RBI (10) and sacrifice flies (7). Boi batted .281/~.367/.515 and was one home run behind league leader Craig Faulkner; Rodríguez smacked 15. He failed to make the league All-Star team as Jack Voigt was picked at third base.
Boi hit .242/~.337/.388 with the 1988 West Palm Beach Expos, then .247/~.338/.397 with the 1989 Jacksonville Expos. Back in Jacksonville the next year, the 24-year-old improved to a .281/~.362/.441 line. He hit .285/~.364/.424 for Caguas in the 1990-1991 Puerto Rican Winter League. On April 1, 1991, Rodríguez was dealt with outfielder Otis Nixon to the Atlanta Braves for a player to be named later (minor league pitcher Keith Morrison) and catcher Jimmy Kremers.
1991-1993: Richmond regular
Ferdinand spent part of the 1991 season with the Greenville Braves (.283/~.383/.446) but was primarily with the Richmond Braves of the AAA International League, where he produced at a .281/~.338/.411 clip, outhitting the player to his right, SS Vinny Castilla. With MVP Terry Pendleton at third base, Atlanta did not call up Rodríguez. For the 1991-1992 Bayamon Cowboys, he hit .320 and slugged .528. He was fourth in the Puerto Rican Winter League in average.
Rodríguez hit .277/~.352/.500 for Richmond in 1992 but fielded only .837 at third and moved to DH. Pendleton had another fine year to keep Boi at AAA. Rodríguez had an off-winter, hitting only .190 and slugging .210 with Arecibo. In 1993, the 27-year-old batted .267/~.340/.458 with Richmond and continued to struggle defensively at third (.881), forcing him to play first base and DH on occasion. With Fred McGriff at first and Pendleton still producing at third in Atlanta, Boi was once again stuck in AAA and at his age, his chances of a call-up were shrinking each year.
1994-1996: The first go-around in Mexico
Boi bounced down to the Mexican League's Nuevo Laredo Owls in 1994, hitting .318/.392/.507 but fielding only .855 at third and playing more DH. The next year, he put up a .307/~.394/.608 line with the Owls and hit 20 homers for the first time (22). He also spent time in the Pittsburgh Pirates system, hitting .256/~.310/.462 for the Calgary Cannons and committing three errors in two games at third (they primarily used him at first). He had joined the team that year with the intention of being a strike replacement player and had been one of the top hitters in spring training before the strike came to a close. In his third year with Nuevo Laredo in 1996, Rodríguez hit .302/~.444/.524 with 98 walks (tying Hector Villanueva for second behind Sam Horn) and 22 homers. In his last appearance in the US that same summer, he went 2 for 32 with four walks and 15 K's for the Wichita Wranglers of the AA Texas League.
The Puerto Rican veteran added another country to his resume in 1997 when he played for the President Lions of the Chinese Professional Baseball League. Rodríguez hit .360/.471/.694. He was second in average behind Ted Wood and hit the most homers, edging ex-Brave Jose Oliva by two. He led in OBP by .015 over Wood and led in slugging (24 over Wood).
1998-2001: Mexico, the second time
Returning to the Mexican League in 1998, the 32-year-old hit .280/~.394/.407 with the Monclova Steelers. In 1998-1999, Boi batted .324 and slugged .594 for the Mayaguez Indians. He trailed Puerto Rican Winter League homer king Ernie Young by two and did something he had never been known for before - steal lots of bases. He swiped 17, four behind leader Alex Diaz, was fourth in average and led the league with 37 RBI. In the 1999 Caribbean Series, he hit .308, slugged .731 and scored 9 runs in 7 games as one of the top performers. He made the All-Tournament team at first base.
In that summer, he maintained his newfound speed and led the Liga with 43 swipes (in 58 tries) and hit .342/~.444/.606. He scored 99, drove in 105 (also leading the LMB) and homering 26 times. He was third in the Liga in runs, third in homers (two behind leader Mike Meggers) and second in doubles.
Back down to 12 steals in 2000, Rodríguez hit .294/~.430/.578 with 90 walks, 31 homers and 88 RBI. That winter, he batted .240 and slugged .450 for Mayaguez. In his fourth year with Monclova, he led the Mexican League in runs (103), homers (33) and RBI (100), batting .303/?/.595.
2002: To the Far East again
The 36-year-old parlayed his two big years in Mexico to a contract with the 2002 Yokohama BayStars, where he hit .262/.341/.448 as the right fielder. While his statistics look unimpressive, they stood on a pathetic offense and last-place team; his 60 RBI were 11 more than runner-up Takuro Ishii and his 18 homers were eight more than #2 man Mike Gulan. Hitoshi Tamura replaced him in right the next year and Rodriguez returned for yet another stay in Mexico.
2003-2005: The third Mexican sojourn
Leaving Japan, Boi signed with Pittsburgh but did not play for them and instead went back to Mexico with another set of Pirates, the Campeche Pirates, where he hit .321 and slugged .494 in only 168 AB. He also spent part of 2003 with the Lotte Giants, goign just 4 for 21 with no homers. In the winter ball season, he hit .300 and slugged .458 for Mayaguez. He split the 2004 year between Campeche and the Laguna Cowboys, hitting .327/~.446/.578. Returning to Monclova, Rodríguez batted .281/.430/.439 in 35 games in 2005 to finish his career.
1989, 1991, 1995, 2005 and 2006 Baseball Guides, 1988-2006 Baseball Almanacs, The Mexican League: Comprehensive Player Statistics by Pedro Treto Cisneros, Japanbaseballdaily.com by Gary Garland, The Pittsburgh Pirates Encyclopedia by David Finoli and Bill Ranier