Eduardo Eugenio Ríos Martínez
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 10", Weight 178 lb.
Eduardo Ríos played his 18th season in professional baseball in 2008. He has played pro ball in the Dominican Republic, the United States of America, Canada, Mexico, Taiwan and Italy.
Ríos debuted in 1991 in the Dominican Summer League and returned to that circuit in 1992. In 1993, he came stateside with the Bakersfield Dodgers (.283/~.331/.504, 7 HR in 113 AB) and Great Falls Dodgers (.279/~.328/.421 in 26 G). He hit .263/.302/.420 for the 1994 Vero Beach Dodgers with 28 doubles, 8 triples, 13 homers, 70 runs and 79 RBI, showing good production for a middle infielder in the Florida State League. He fielded .970 at second base. Eddie made it to AA in 1995 with the San Antonio Missions; the 22-year-old hit .285/~.322/.406.
In 1996, the kid from Caracas played 75 games for San Antonio, batting .277/~.332/.401; moving to third base to make room at second for Adam Riggs, he only fielded .886 at his new spot. He made his AAA debut with the Albuquerque Dukes, going 2 for 29 with 3 walks and having more errors (3) than hits. He would never make it beyond AAA.
Let loose by the Los Angeles Dodgers, Ríos hit .286 and slugged .449 for the Saskatoon Smokin' Guns of the independent Prairie League. He split 1998 between the Thunder Bay Whiskey Jacks (.274, .444 SLG) and Taiwan's Uni-President Lions (4 for 30, 2B, 3B). He also made his last appearance in the affiliated minors, spending time with the Tucson Sidewinders (3 for 8, 2B, HR) and El Paso Diablos (.283/.328/.333 in 16 games).
Ríos's 2000-2001 location is unknown. In 2002, still only 29 years old, he signed on with the Cancun Lobstermen and hit .252 with 21 homers. The veteran hit .282 for the Aragua Tigers in the 2002-2003 Venezuelan League, topping the circuit with 13 doubles. He batted .282 with 6 HR and 47 RBI in 2003 for Cancun and the Oaxaca Warriors.
Eduardo was one of Aragua's top performers in the 2004 Caribbean Series, hitting .333 to tie Miguel Cabrera for the team lead, just ahead of Magglio Ordonez. His 5 runs were more than either MLB star, his 4 extra-base hits tied Cabrera, his 3 RBI tied Ordonez and were one ahead of Cabrera and his 2 homers were more than the other two combined. He tied Raúl González and Luis Lopez for the Series lead in homers.
In the summer of 2004, Ríos hit .285/.362/.485 with 18 HR and 88 RBI for the Rieleros de Aguascalientes. The corner infielder ranked 4th in the Mexican League in RBI behind Roberto Saucedo, Eduardo Jimenez and Morgan Burkhart. He also spent part of the year with the La New Bears, his third Taiwan-based club. He hit .271/.314/.467 with 6 homers in 107 AB in Taiwan.
Ríos split 2005 between the Bears (.293/.327/.465 in 25 games) and Aguascalientes (.319/.366/.612, 31 HR, 111 RBI in 105 G). Overall, he drove in 35 homers that summer. Now an old hand at third base, he fielded .972 there for the Rieleros, close to the lead in the Mexican League. He tied for 5th in the league in home runs and was 4th in RBI behind Willis Otanez, Saucedo and Felix Jose.
Ríos batted .329/.387/.652 in 2006 for Aguascalientes. He smashed 33 home runs, topping Jorge Vázquez by two for the league lead. His 112 RBI were 12 more than runner-up Pedro Valdes. He was 5th in slugging and second in runs, as his 90 were only two less than leader Mendy Lopez. Lopez won MVP honors but Eduardo clearly had a strong case as well.
The Caracas native opened his 17th season in pro ball with the Aguascalientes club, hitting .358/.399/.555 with 10 home runs, 36 runs and 32 RBI in 41 games. When Felix Jose was injured in mid-summer, Ríos was signed by the Lotte Giants to replace his former fellow Mexican League star. He hit .231/~.259/.328 with 17 RBI in 38 games in South Korea.
Ríos returned from his long journeys in Latin America and Asia to play in the USA again in 2008. He hit .275/.314/.408 in 65 games for the Lincoln Saltdogs, then batted .413/.432/.630 in 23 contests for the Brockton Rox. He had now played for 20 professional baseball clubs, not counting winter ball, where he had played for at least four.
In the winter of 2008-2009, the veteran hit .244/.261/.366 for the Cardenales de Lara. For 2009, Eduardo signed with Italy's Telemarket Rimini club. He debuted on April 11, manning first base and hitting 5th behind Ivanon Coffie. He was 1 for 5 with a RBI in a win over Grosseto.