Julio Rodríguez was speechless.
Upon hearing the familiar, yet surprising voice of his dad, Julio Sr., MLB’s No. 5 overall prospect was in disbelief. He got up and walked in a circle, tugging at his sweatshirt before making his way to his father for a hug that almost knocked the latter over.
“He was scared of flying. My mom, she loves to fly, but he was scared to fly. First time flying to the US,” the 20-year-old said on Saturday. “They literally played me like a fool. I literally did not know he was coming. He told me, ‘Oh, my job and everything,’ and now he just shows up like…”
The younger Rodríguez trailed off before going in for another hug.
Then, his mom, Yasmin Reyes, joined the embrace. The outfielder was already feeling thankful, knowing she would be at the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game. But this was another level.
“Having them both here, like literally the people that support me the most, just like, man, this is really special,” he said.
The Mariners’ No. 2 prospect has had his fair share of good news in recent weeks. Rodríguez was selected to his native Dominican Republic’s Olympic team, named to the All-Star Futures Game and promoted to Double-A Arkansas.
When Rodríguez was growing up in Loma de Cabrera, he and his father would watch MLB’s top prospect showcase each year and dream that one day he’d get to play in it.
And now, not only is the outfielder playing in it, but his parents are in the crowd to cheer him on, marking the first time they get to see him play in the States.
“I’m excited to play now. I’m literally more excited to play,” he said. “I was definitely looking forward before, but now that I have them both here, it’s on. It's on for real.”
With their son interpreting for them, both Julio Sr. and Reyes expressed how important it was for them to be able to show up for such a big moment.
“It’s really special having them here,” the Minor Leaguer said.
Rodríguez continued to smile and shake his head in awe as he put his arms around his parents.
“Estamos aquí,” he said. “We’re here.”