Rod Boykin Interview: Making Waves With the Storm

Credit: M. Kreg (EVT Sports)

The Lake Elsinore Storm just named outfielder Rod Boykin their latest homestand hero.

During the recent seven-game homestand, Boykin hit .435 with two home runs and four RBI.

He has been a bright spot in the Storm offense since his call-up from Fort Wayne on July 12. In his first 23 games with the Storm, Boykin has hit the same number of home runs that he hit in 69 games with the Tin Caps, doubling his season total to 12. I recently had the opportunity to sit and chat with him for a few minutes after a game.

Boykin was drafted in the 12th round of the 2013 MLB draft out of high school. I asked him if he had any idea that the Padres were interested in him. “Yeah I did, I was playing in the state championship at that time and I had a scout who was at the game and he scouted me a lot. He talked to my parents and I talked to him a lot so I figured I had a chance.”

Rod Boykin began the year at Fort Wayne and was promoted to the Storm after 69 games.

As any minor league ball player will tell you, it is always exciting to be promoted to the next level, but it can be difficult for players as well. Just finding a place to live while trying to adjust to a new team and city can be a challenge. I asked Boykin what his experience was like. “ I was kind of use to it, having a host family and traveling everywhere because in 2015 I played with the Tri-City Dust Devils and I had a host family there. It wasn’t a big adjustment, I was just happy to get promoted. I just came here and am trying to help the team win.”

I then asked him if he had a host family here in Lake Elsinore, and if the Storm helped him get set up. “Well when I got here I stayed in a hotel for three days and then they found one for me and I’m with them right now.”  For those of you who don’t know, many minor league ball players live with “host” families. These are people who have spare bedrooms and agree to help “sponsor” players. They let them live in their homes free of charge, often providing rides and food when needed.

When Boykin first arrived, Michael Gettys was on the D.L. recovering from a collision with Jethawks’ first baseman Roberto Ramos. So Boykin was inserted into center field. I spoke to him about the different outfield positions and asked if there was one that he preferred over the others. “I was playing a little bit of left and center at the same time, mainly left, but I played center a couple of times in Fort Wayne also. I really don’t have a preference. I just try to perform wherever they put me.”  Boykin has done just that. In the last 30 days he is sporting a slash line of .357/.411/.663. He has hit leadoff, stolen three bases, and played well defensively as well.

Boykin has moved his way up through the system, starting with Rookie ball. I asked him what the toughest adjustment is to make as he progresses from level to level. “Mainly the pitchers can command the strike zone very well. In AZL a lot of people throw hard, but they have no clue where it’s going. Now they can throw any pitch for a strike. You just have to adjust and come out and work hard.”  So far Boykin has adjusted very well to life in Lake Elsinore. With the exception of missing a few games after running into the left field wall while trying to make a catch, he has played in every game since joining the Storm, becoming a mainstay in the leadoff spot. Boykin plays the game with an enthusiasm that is fun to watch and I look forward to watching his career progress through the Padres’ system.

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Matthew Kreg
Just a family guy who enjoys watching baseball with my kids.

This article has 19 Comments

  1. Oh my God, you guys are ridiculous. Let me explain again so you don’t take my words out of context.

    Rod was not playing well this year or the past couple years. He was striking out a lot (still is), had shown little as far as power, etc. I was AFRAID he was going to be released because the San Diego Padres have a VERY deep minor league system.

    Its been a pleasant surprise to see Rod playing so well since his promotion to the Lake Elsinore Storm. I hope he continues to thrive and move up through the system. I could see him being the same type of player as Travis Jankowski, who is on the 40 man roster of the San Diego Padres. He is a great defensive outfielder with a lot of speed. Hopefully Rod can become a better hitter than Travis, because Travis has been struggling at the plate.

    I am sure Rod is a great kid. Unfortunately, ML teams don’t always take character into consideration when the decide who to cut or keep. Its all about results. Hopefully, his results will continue to be as impressive as they have been since his promotion.

    Is that clearer? Sorry for the miscommunication. I was not judging your brother, son, cousin or whatever relation Rod is to you. You though, judged me completely because I had an opinion that differed from yours.

    1. Rich W u seem to not understand your own wording I don’t care about what u talking about because u are only trying to cover up the negativity that you speak since u don’t seem to understand go and read what Bran had to say then maybe u would see where we are coming from instead of you talking Down on his weakness and not having power u should have used encouraging words u reaching and trying way to hard and it’s getting you no where lol as u should I am Rod Boykin older sister the other woman Tarnisha is also his and I sister I’m sure if someone talked down on your sibling or family u would come for them too it seems like u have some kind of hatred towards my brother otherwise u wouldn’t have felt the need to comment so what is the problem?

    2. So what if he is striking out alot isn’t there other players who strike out as well are u the signing his checks? he was also have had injuries and had to have surgery on his hand are u a spectator are something? who sent u? Lol U SEEM LIKE A HATER TO ME!!!

  2. At some point of time in life we all have struggled on our individual path to success in some form or fashion ..at the end of the day what truly counts is the finish product of the lesson learned from mistakes and errors. .we all have them…never dwell on the past…I’m proud of you keep God first as you were taught and your path destined by the man above shall never be altered by anyone. …this is beyond exceptionally well to have come out of high school directly to mlb .some individuals may have had to play in college before even being considered a chance to play in the league. .you know for yourself I too have played sports and to get an opportunity straight out of high school is a blessing. .no luck ..it’s a blessing. ..so you were expected to have error in the process of learning..youve managed to polish the diamond in the rough which only says you are a outstanding individual and a strong willed team player..keep up the good work..continue to be a young man of character. .keep God first and the rest is history

  3. Rich W as a matter of fact we do know something about baseball you are talking amongst two former athletes who both played softball, basketball and ran track and both parents were athletes of the sports as well you’re not talking to someone who doesn’t know a thing about the game we are supporters we participate in all our siblings games from elementary,junior high and high school and my sister and my brother have won championships so try again lol

  4. Rich W see it’s always haters like you that try to down someone that’s only trying make it in life…but you know what it’s called improvement,hardwork,dedication something you don’t know…instead of being negative think about encouragement…there is a God that is looking down and I hope he have mercy on your soul because I see you praying for his down fall but you know what this child uses people like you as his motivation so keep on talking and at the end you may have to fix your face and pick your mouth up because you might be the one left behind…I think you need to pray a little harder because your heart is not on the right side

    1. Im not praying for his downfall. I’m actually rooting for the guy. If you knew anything about baseball, and not just because your kin to him, you would see he was struggling and wasn’t doing well. I hope he continues to do well and makes it to the Padres. Sounds like you and your family need too pray more and stop judging people. I wasn’t judging him at all. I was just stating that baseball is a business and there are only so many spots for players that are underperforming, which he was. Now he’s playing really well.

      1. Don’t try to change it now because you didn’t have to mention anything about his past we are in future you could have just said I wish him well and left it at that but you went on to say that you thought he would be released and comparing him to someone else…what’s so funny is you are the only one that commented so seems to me that you watching him for some reason rather than worrying about yourself…but I’m gone come for you because you will not come for Rod Boykin now continue to go on with your life and leave the negative comments off of anything that has to do with him

      2. Rich W your job isn’t to criticize a player I’m quite sure you don’t get paid for that lol if that’s your definition of rooting for our brother then do us a favor and cut it because we don’t need haters we need motivators just as much as u parted your mouth to talk down on him he showed u why they drafted him out of high school and let’s get this clear he may have games where he may strike out that’s normal name a pro athlete who doesn’t strike out? one thing for sure he is very atheletic, he is a great outfielder and most importantly he is mannerable and humble there’s a reason why he is still in the league sit back and watch and enjoy the view!

  5. Before he got promoted, I was thinking he was going to be released at the end of the year. He didn’t have any power, he was striking out a lot, wasn’t hitting for much average. Then he was promoted and he’s been en fuego ever since. I could see him turning into another Travis Jankowski. Hopefully he hits better, though 😛

    1. You could have kept your negative comment to yourself. Not all players perform at their best every game you should know that if you were ever an athlete

      1. Huh? I was encouraging him. Stop being such a homer. I know you’re family to him. I was saying I hope he hits better than Jankowski. You don’t even know who that is. He was on the San Diego Padres earlier in the year.

        He was struggling to hit.

    2. You could have kept your negative comment to yourself. Not all players perform at their best every game you should know that if you were ever an athlete

      1. Yeah, I played college baseball so I kinda know what I’m talking about. I hope he does well. I’m rooting for him. I’m a Padres fan.

        1. This is exceptionally well to have come out of high school ..I’m glad that this team saw his potential and any one who plays sports know coming from high school to a mlb you can expect trial and error in the process of growing…so maybe he’s being promoted because of hard work and dedication along with the ability to adapt to the environment of the sport…numbers don’t lie…the heart and character of a player to adapt and continue to grow strong and produce increases the value of a individual player to one’s team…when you root for some one or aim to encourage someone you don’t reflect on one’s past with negative. Regardless if he was weak..he was out of high school the team expected that…they also expected that he would become stronger so his chance was giving ….keep up the good work son…you can’t progress dwelling on the past but if you reflect use it as fuel to remind yourself you’ve come a long way and that you have to work that much harder to maintain. ..you are there now which means irregardless you have what it takes…stay focused and positive

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