Jeremy Rodriguez is the new Bench Coach for the Oklahoma City Dodgers in Triple-A. The Los Angeles Dodgers originally hired the former catcher just before the 2016 season. Rodriguez had served as a Manager at Great Lakes and Ogden in the organization. Prior to that, the Cal State Bakersfield Alum was working with the Padres organization for two seasons, after his playing time in the Friars system. Rodriguez is still just 29 years old, and already, quite a resume.
“Since I was little, I’ve always wanted to be in the big leagues and that’s what I’m working towards.” – Jeremy Rodriguez
Rodriguez has strong ties to a Dodger legend in Reggie Smith. “JRod” has played for Reggie since he first started batting lessons with him at age 13. Jeremy has also coached for and with the sage baseball guru.
Q – Because of your time with Reggie Smith, and now in the Dodgers organization yourself, what does it mean to wear the Dodgers name across your chest?
A – “It definitely feels a lot like home. Reggie taught me the Dodger way while I was younger and it really helped me adapt a lot faster with the organization. The Dodgers is a first class organization and I’m extremely honored to be able to put on that uniform each day. All the history that comes with the name is remarkable and I’m just extremely blessed to be a part of it.”
In an earlier interview when asked about his mentor, and what he learned, Jeremy Rodriguez said this about Smith,“ he not only prepared me for baseball, but he also prepared me for life.”
Moving On Up
In 2017 the Dodgers gave “JRod” the reigns as the Manager at Great Lakes. The Loons are the clubs Single-A affiliate in the Midwest League. The former 16th round draft pick in 2011 led the Loons to a 69 – 70 record, but more importantly, he was instrumental in the development of many prospects.
Hey @okc_dodgers here is your new Bench Coach Jeremy Rodriguez! @DodgersLowDown @azfreedman #MiLB #MLB #Dodgers @Dodgers @MiLB Congrats to JRod!! pic.twitter.com/oFbFiRtHpv
— Steven Douglas (@wxdude22) December 19, 2018
In 2018, Rodriguez was at the helm for the Ogden Raptors at short-season rookie ball. The Raptors dominated the Pioneer League during the first half of the season which earned them a playoff birth. In the second half, they had a few struggles and stumbles but the team had several players promoted. Ogden still had an overall record of 46 – 30. The first job at the minor league level is development, and to get your guys up to the next level. “JRod”, a players manager, is always excited to talk about a player and his success and promotions.
Love this picture. This is why I love pro ball. It’s not about the fame, the money or the glory. It’s about being able to make an impact in someone’s life. Any moment spent with a kid during a ball can change their life and you can be a huge inspiration to them. #4thekids pic.twitter.com/Jhftkuw1mc
— Jeremy Rodriguez (@Baseballingjrod) July 30, 2018
Bench Coach Promotion
Jeremy Rodriguez was promoted to Triple-A Oklahoma City’s coaching staff shortly after Instructs.
Q – How did you find out about this promotion and were you surprised at the news?
A – “Brandon Gomes, our farm director, and I went on a walk after one of our Instructional League Games and asked how I felt about being a bench coach in the higher levels.” Rodriguez continued, “I thought it was exciting news because I don’t have coaching experience in the higher levels and for me, I knew it was going to be a great learning experience. I want to grow as much as I can as a coach and getting experience at the highest level in the minor leagues is definitely going to help my growth.”
Q – What does it mean to you to be the bench coach for the OKC Dodgers at AAA?
A – “For me, I’m going to take the same mentality and work ethic as when I was a manager. I’m going to be working with the infielders, coaching 3rd base and work on the positioning while on defense. I’ll be next to the manager while we’re on defense, so any help that the manager needs we’ll be sharing ideas so we can make the best decisions on the field.”
Future for Jeremy Rodriguez
It looks very bright. All this knowledge, experience and success while still under 30.
Q – It seems as though the universe, the stars are all coming together for you to become a major league manager at some point in the near future, is that what you see?
A – “If it’s Gods will, then it will happen. Right now I’m just trying to learn something new everything day and be the best teammate I can be. Since I was little, I’ve always wanted to be in the big leagues and that’s what I’m working towards.”