Julio Rodríguez updates

Keeping tabs on the No. 3 overall prospect

April 12th, 2022

We'll be posting daily updates on Mariners outfielder Julio Rodríguez this season, with the latest news on the No. 3 prospect in baseball per MLB Pipeline.

April 11: Hitless for third time in four games
Rodríguez couldn't find his groove at the plate on Monday in Minnesota, as the 21-year-old outfielder went 0-for-2 with a walk and a strikeout. It was an off night for the Mariners as a whole, though, as they only mustered two hits throughout the night. Gameday »

April 10: Rodríguez hitless, batting average drops to .083
A day after picking up his first Major League hit, Rodríguez went 0-for-4 in the Mariners' 10-4 loss to the Twins at Target Field. His batting average fell to .083 through his first three games.

April 9: Rodríguez picks up first MLB hit
Rodríguez is on the board, picking up his first Major League hit during the Mariners' 4-3 win over the Twins in Minnesota. It came in the seventh inning, when the phenom roped a double to left-center field and eventually scored the game-tying run. He struck out looking in his three at-bats prior to the hit. More >

April 8: Rodríguez goes hitless in MLB debut
It wasn't the result he wanted at the plate in his highly-anticipated MLB debut -- he went 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts -- but it was still a joyous occasion for Julio Rodríguez, the No. 3 prospect in baseball, per MLB Pipeline. Rodríguez, who made the Opening Day roster out of Spring Training thanks to a tremendous performance at the plate and on the bases, was the starting center fielder in Seattle's 2-1 win over the Twins in Minnesota, with his parents in attendance.

April 7: J-Rod discusses Opening Day jitters in Minny
MINNEAPOLIS -- If there were nerves walking into a big league clubhouse for the first time, Julio Rodríguez certainly didn't show them on Thursday, one day before he's set to make his big league debut. 

"Honestly, I'm pretty calm," Rodríguez said. "I'm just excited to be here. It's just another day in the business."

Rodríguez was among the many Mariners -- if not entire team -- to take part in a voluntary workout at Target Field on the day that was originally slated for the regular-season opener before snowy conditions prompted the Twins to move the game back 24 hours. He fit right in, just as he did all spring. The comfort with his teammates, having spent each of the past three years in big league Spring Training, has made the transition easier. 

"I feel like obviously, I've seen all these faces enough times," Rodríguez said. "I feel really comfortable around them. They let me be myself. I feel like that's really huge for me. They just let me be who I am. I feel really comfortable around everybody. As long as I have them, I'm good."

Mariners manager Scott Servais said that Seattle’s supporting cast has and will continue to help bring Rodríguez along. 

"The thing is, we have a good team around him," Servais said. "So, it’s not like he has to come in and carry the load. He’s going to play his first Major League game tomorrow. Have fun with it. I mean, I hope he gets a knock. I know he hopes he gets a knock, like any young player the first time you’re out there in a big league ballpark. It’s a pretty exciting feeling. He’ll be pumped up.

"He’s a fun guy. And I think he’s easy to gravitate toward. Our fan base is going to love him. And there’s a lot of players they’re going to like on this team. But he has to be who he is. That’s what makes him a really good player. And I don’t want to change that. I don’t want to damper it at all. He’s an emotional guy. And I love it. I’ve often talked about our guys, and how it’s OK to show your emotions on your sleeve. Do it in a professional way. But we like it. I’ve always been a big fan and Julio fit right in here."

That said, there will likely be natural jitters when he takes the field, and it won’t be the first such time. He’s been on a grand stage before.

"The Olympics -- when I was wearing the jersey for the Dominican Republic, that was the last time that I got real butterflies,” Rodríguez said, referencing his bronze-medal performance in Tokyo last summer. “That was the first time I got chills playing baseball."

How does he think he’ll feel tomorrow, with a sellout crowd on the road staring down at him and countless Mariners fans tuning in?

"I'll tell you tomorrow," Rodríguez said. "I don't know what to say, honestly. I'm just excited to see what it brings me." -- Daniel Kramer

Here's a full-fledged guide to his debut. More »

April 6: What to expect from J-Rod in Seattle?
Had he wanted to, Julio Rodríguez could have simply hit his way to the big leagues.

I know what you’re thinking: Didn’t he do exactly that? More »

April 4: J-Rod makes the Opening Day roster
PEORIA, Ariz. -- He was told he’d need to not knock on the door, but break it down. He was told that the opportunity was there, but that he’d need to wow to earn it. Julio Rodríguez came to Spring Training with a chance of finally achieving a lifelong dream that slowly went from remote to likely to certain.

And now, at long last, J-Rod is officially a big leaguer.

Rodríguez will be included on the Mariners’ Opening Day roster when the club begins the regular season against the Twins in Minnesota. The announcement puts a bow of validation on what was arguably the best camp among the 62 players who initially arrived with Seattle less than three weeks ago. Full story »

April 3: J-Rod just keeps mashing
Those anxiously waiting on Julio Rodríguez's status for the Opening Day roster will have to wait a little longer, but J-Rod kept that crowd entertained with yet another marvel as he one-upped himself by going 3-for-4 and finishing a triple shy of the cycle.

His 115-mph homer in his first spring at-bat and the inside-the-parker he legged out were impressive, but J-Rod one-upped himself by going 3-for-4 and finishing a triple shy of the cycle before being pulled for a pinch-runner in the seventh inning during Seattle’s 10-8 win against the Royals at Surprise Stadium.

Rodríguez brought his Cactus League slash line to .419/.471/.839, leading the team with a 1.310 OPS. Overall, he’s 13-for-31 in 12 games, with just two remaining before the Mariners head to Minnesota for Opening Day on Thursday. Full story »

March 31: J-Rod races for inside-the-park homer
PEORIA, Ariz. -- If Julio Rodríguez wasn’t already in line to make the Mariners’ Opening Day roster, the play he made against the Guardians might’ve made him a lock.

Seattle’s prized outfield prospect encapsulated nearly all of his elite tools -- speed, baserunning, power, opposite-field drive and instincts -- into one 14-second sequence that could’ve been the final benchmark on his player-development checklist:

An inside-the-park home run.

“First time ever,” Rodríguez said. Full story »

March 30: J-Rod has 'a learning day'
MESA, Ariz. -- Julio Rodríguez was the center of attention.

The Mariners’ top prospect went 1-for-4 with three strikeouts in Seattle's 8-5 loss to the Cubs at Sloan Park. Overall, Rodríguez is still slashing .304/.360/.565 in nine Cactus League games as he continues to make a case for a spot on the big league club.

The young outfielder from Loma de Cabrera, Dominican Republic, has one home run, five RBIs and nine strikeouts this spring. And like all players his age, he also has room for improvement.

“Julio had a learning day today,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “… He’s learning, and that’s part of it. We are giving these young guys an opportunity, and hopefully they can take it, run with it and learn from it.” Full story »

March 30: J-Rod talks speed, Olympics, MLB debut
If you’re reading this, you are probably already aware of the hitting exploits of MLB Pipeline’s No. 3 overall prospect Julio Rodríguez.

Just in case -- and because the numbers are fun to look at -- the Mariners outfielder hit .347/.441/.560 with 13 homers and 21 steals over 74 games at High-A and Double-A in 2021. In between that success at Everett and Arkansas, he managed to sneak in a bronze-medal-winning performance for his native Dominican Republic in the Tokyo Olympics last summer. The right-handed slugger has followed all of that up with a solid Spring Training (his first as a member of the 40-man roster), and it’s becoming more of a possibility by the day that he could begin 2022 on Seattle’s Major League Opening Day roster as a center fielder.

Rodríguez spoke to MLB Pipeline about his improvements in speed, his Olympic experience, the way he handles nerves and his Major League proximity. Full story »

March 26: Rodríguez connects with fans at Spring Training
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Julio Rodríguez had an entire afternoon to kill, so he opened up his phone and invited the world of Mariners fans into his. 

With Seattle’s first night game on the horizon on Friday, and with his name in the starting lineup, Rodríguez needed to be at the club’s facility early that morning for team meetings. But there was a sizable lull before first pitch, so Rodríguez entered the Twittersphere and launched an impromptu meetup with fans near the club’s Spring Training facility.

With some quick coordination between his representatives and the Mariners’ front office, Rodríguez put together gift packages comprising of hats, three $100 gift cards to the team store and three sets of tickets to games in Seattle this season. He wound up collaborating with about a half dozen groups, exclusively arranged in an organic, social-media-driven forum. Full story »

March 22: Rodríguez laces RBI double
Seattle's top prospect ripped a double down the left-field line and drove in a run in the bottom of the first inning for the Mariners on Tuesday. Through his first three Spring Training games this year, Rodríguez has gone 3-for-10 with a homer to go along with his double. The game's top outfield prospect split his 2021 season between High-A Everett and Double-A Arkansas, batting .347/.441/.561 with 13 homers and 47 RBIs in 74 games. Rodríguez also won a bronze medal with the Dominican Republic during the Tokyo Olympics.

March 18: Rodríguez launches homer in first spring AB
PEORIA, Ariz. -- He walked to the plate to a hearty ovation before he’d even done anything. Moments later, Julio Rodríguez gave those fans reasons to roar.

In his first Cactus League at-bat, Seattle’s prized outfield prospect put his pure power on display with a three-run homer in Friday's 6-4 loss to the Padres. Facing an 0-2 count against reliever Angel Felipe, Rodríguez yanked an elevated breaking ball and sent it screaming well beyond the left-field mezzanine, with fans racing the souvenir down.

The numbers, according to the Mariners’ Trackman data: 431 feet, a 22-degree launch angle and a 117 mph exit velocity. Full story »

March 18: Rodríguez ranks third on Top 100 Prospects list
At long last, we are ready to unveil MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 Prospects list. And with a full Minor League season in 2021, there are sure to be plenty of changes in this year’s list compared to a year ago.

With graduations, performances and an influx of new talent via the Draft and international signings, there was a lot to consider when constructing this year’s Top 100. For the first time in a very long time, the list is not topped by Rays phenom Wander Franco. And for the first time ever, the top eight players are all from the same league. Full story »

March 16: J-Rod's the top OF prospect for 2022
Once again, the list of baseball’s top 10 outfield prospects is loaded with elite talent. An outfielder has won a Rookie of the Year award in four of the past five seasons and it would hardly be a shock to see that streak continue as six of these 10 prospects are expected to reach the Majors this season.

Jarred Kelenic led this list a season ago and although he’s graduated from prospect status, the Mariners still hold the top spot as Julio Rodríguez jumped up from No. 2 to No. 1. Full story »