Guillermo Segundo Rodriguez Perez
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 11", Weight 195 lb.
Catcher Guillermo Rodriguez toiled for more than a decade in the minors before final reaching the big leagues in 2007. He played 46 games in the majors and also has played in Mexico, Venezuela and Italy.
Rodriguez was signed by the San Francisco Giants in late 1995. He was 2 for 8 for the Tiburones de la Guaira in the winter of 1995-1996. He made his US debut in 1996 with the Bellingham Giants, going 0 for 4. He played for the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (.231/.318/.308 in 11 G) and the San Jose Giants (.148/.148/.333 in 13 G) the following year. That winter, he was 3 for 14 with two doubles for La Guaira. In the summer of '98, he was briefly with Salem-Keizer (1 for 4) and San Jose (0 for 1) but spent most of the minor league season in his home country, hitting .327/.412/.505 with 26 RBI in 32 games for Guacara 1 of the Venezuelan Summer League. Had he qualified, he would have been 4th in average,
Rodriguez was 0 for 3 for the 1998-1999 Tiburones. He split the summer of 1999 between Salem-Keizer (.254/.325/.456, 34 RBI in 33 G) and the Bakersfield Blaze (.290/.333/.376 in 41 G). He had 7 singles in 36 at-bats for La Guaira in 1999-2000 as a backup to Marcus Jensen. He became a regular with the Blaze in 2000, batting .240/.306/.375 with 27 doubles, 10 home runs and 63 runs; he had 15 errors and 23 passed balls. He tied for 7th in the California League with 13 times hit by pitch and he led catchers with 863 putouts and 112 assists (he also led in passed balls). He was named the league's All-Star backstop.
The Barquisimeto native hit .323 and slugged .477 in 29 games for La Guaira in 2000-2001, splitting action with Victor Valencia. He then was excellent in the Venezuelan Winter League post-season (8 for 17, 3 2B, HR). In 2001, he played for San Jose (.270/.354/.397 in 35 G) and the Shreveport Swamp Dragons (.204/.249/.306 in 65 G). He also pitched 3 innings and allowed only one hit and no runs (albeit with two walks and a hit batsmen). He hit .250/?/.359 for the 2001-2002 Tiburones while backing up Valencia. In the summer, he topped .300 between San Jose (.362/.405/.493 in 42 G), Shreveport (.268/.345/.415 in 13 G) and the Fresno Grizzlies (.235/.299/.330 in 32 G), making it to AAA in his seventh season. In 28 games for the 2002-2003 Tiburones, he hit .240 and slugged .280 with 8 runs and 6 RBI, outhitting backup Valencia.
Guillermo and Trey Lunsford split catching duties for Fresno in 2003; he hit .276/.328/.406 in 78 games, not far below the 2003 PCL mean for OPS. As the 2003 Giants were getting okay play from Benito Santiago and Yorvit Torrealba, Rodriguez remained in AAA. He hit .242 and slugged .379 in 2003-2004 for La Guaira while splitting time with Wiki Gonzalez but was only 1 for 4 in the playoffs as Gonzalez saw the bulk of the action. In the summer of 2004, he moved to the Detroit Tigers as a free agent but struggled (.187/.244/.338) in 73 games for the Toledo Mud Hens, with 31 runs produced; he split the catching with Mike Difelice. In 2004-2005, he backed up Steve Torrealba on the Tiburones and hit .227 with a .364 slugging percentage.
Rodriguez returned to the Giants for the 2005 season but did not show up in AAA for the first time in four years, playing mostly in A ball. He hit .273/.332/.498 in 68 games for San Jose and was 4 for 15 with a double and three walks for the Norwich Navigators. He was now 27 years old and it was looking like he would never make the majors. The Tiburones dealt him away prior to the 2005-2006 season, shipping him with Albenis Machado to the Aguilas del Zulia for Lipso Nava and Nestor Bermudez (who would never play professionally). He hit .228/.327/.389 as a regular for Zulia. His 5 triples tied Ron Acuña for second in the LVBP behind Ray Olmedo.
In 2006, the veteran backstop played for both San Jose (.364/.451/.662 in 29 G) and Fresno (.220/.303/.488 in 40 G), hitting 13 homers in 204 at-bats for the year. He fielded .992 between the two stops. He slumped in his second winter for Zulia (.205/.337/.256), losing time to Humberto Quintero. He hit .267/.313/.333 in the postseason. He began 2007 back with Fresno and hit .243/.319/.330 in 33 games but threw out over half of would-be base-stealers. With Eliezer Alfonzo injured, Rodriguez was called up to back up Bengie Molina the rest of the MLB season.
Guillermo made his major league debut on June 13, hitting 8th. He grounded out against Dustin McGowan in the second. In the 4th, he singled off McGowan, scoring Ryan Klesko. He struck out in the 6th. In the 8th, he hit a sacrifice fly off Casey Janssen to score Pedro Feliz for a two-RBI debut. He, battery mate Tim Lincecum and Jonathan Sanchez all got their first major league hits that day, the first time three players did so in one game since 1998. His only home run in the majors came August 26. Down 4-2 in the bottom of the 7th, he took Dave Bush deep with Rich Aurilia aboard to tie it; San Francisco won, 5-4. For the season, he hit .253/.327/.356 (76 OPS+) with 10 runs and 14 RBI in 39 games for the 2007 Giants, fielding .980 and allowing 12 steals in 17 tries.
Rodriguez produced at a .291/.347/.424 clip in 49 games for Zulia in 2007-2008 before a late-season trade to the Cardenales de Lara for Guillermo Quiroz; he was 0 for 5 with two walks for Lara. Neither Rodriguez nor Alfonzo could win the job as Molina's backup for the 2008 Giants, as Steve Holm got it instead. Guillermo wound up backing up both Alfonzo and Eli Whiteside for Fresno. He hit .266/.349/.351 in 33 games in that role. As a starter for the 2008-2009 Cardenales, he batted .293/.363/.327 and scored 26 runs in 42 games. He struggled in the playoffs (4 for 33, 4 BB, 2 HR).
The veteran signed with the Baltimore Orioles for 2009. He spent most of the campaign with the Bowie Baysox (.251/.293/.388 in 71 G), also appearing for the Norfolk Tides (.222/.233/.306 in 18 G). He was 0 for 5 with two walks for the 2009 Orioles after being a September call-up, ending his MLB career. He did not play for the next couple summers but remained active in winter ball. He began 2009-2010 with Lara (6 for 24, 2B, 2 BB) and finished back with his old La Guaira club (6 for 26, HR, 4 BB) then was 0 for 8 with a walk in the postseason for the Tiburones. In 2010-2011, he hit .272/.362/.358 for the Tiburones, splitting action behind the dish with Edwin Bellorin.
Rodriguez signed with the Tigres de Aragua for 2011-2012, his fourth Venezuelan club. He had a good year at .270/.341/.459. He was only 2 for 17 with a walk in the semifinals and finals. In the 2012 Caribbean Series, he went 3 for 10 with a walk and a run to outperform Gustavo Molina, the other Tigres backstop. He returned to the minors briefly with the Pericos de Puebla, hitting .313/.421/.484 with 16 runs in 21 games as a backup. He batted .246/.352/.361 for the 2012-2013 Tigres and .272/.398/.348 for the same club in 2013-2014, sharing catching with Quiroz.
For 2014, he signed with the Italian Baseball League's Unipol Bologna club. He hit only .212/.349/.250 in the first phase of the season but .313/.416/.547 in the second phase. He was 5th in that phase in average (between Stefano Desimoni and Joe Mazzuca), tied Osman Marval for second in homers (3, one behind Claudio Liverziani), led in RBI (20, 5 ahead of Liverziani and fellow ex-big leaguers Alex Romero, Trent Oeltjen and Oscar Salazar), tied Romero for 4th in OBP, was second to Liverziani in slugging and was second to Liverziani in OPS. In the 2014 Italian Series, he hit .379/.455/.621 with 7 runs and 10 RBI in 7 games to help Bologna top ASD Rimini. He had 5 RBI in game 4, then drove in two in games 6 and 7, both must-win games for Bologna. He led the Series in average, hits (11, one ahead of Liverziani), RBI (3 ahead of Marco Sabbatani), doubles (4), total bases (18, two more than Giuseppe Mazzanti) and slugging and was second in runs (one behind Liverziani) and OBP (behind Liverziani). He was named Series MVP.
As of 2014, Rodriguez has hit .257/?/.362 in 502 LVBP games (201 R, 169 RBI), .256/.319/.402 in 908 minor league games (380 R, 414 RBI) and .239/.324/.337 in 46 MLB games (11 R, 15 RBI).