Rodríguez, Kirby pace AquaSox

May 15th, 2021

In what very well could be a preview of things to come in the not-so-distant future for Seattle, Julio Rodríguez and George Kirby provided the 1-2 punch High-A Everett needed on Friday night to upend Tri-City, 5-2, at Funko Field.

"It's just special," Kirby said about the Mariners' loaded farm system. "We're grinding and we're just hoping that we can help out the big league team sometime soon."

Rodríguez, MLB Pipeline's fifth-ranked prospect, continued his scorching start to the season -- finding the seats for the second straight game, while extending his hitting streak to eight games.

The 20-year-old didn't waste any time as he connected with a 3-2 fastball right down the heart of the plate off Hector Yan and demolished it over the wall in center. The blast, Rodriguez's third of the season, provided his sixth RBI in the last five games.

Seattle's second-ranked prospect is 13-for-33 with three dingers, a triple, five doubles, six walks, 12 runs scored and eight RBIs over his last eight games.

"He's got a special bat," Kirby said. "He knows exactly what he's doing out there. He's fun to watch and I'm looking forward to continuing to watch him hit."

Kirby, MLB Pipeline's No. 80 overall prospect, made his second start for the AquaSox and looked every bit of the No. 20 overall pick that the Mariners believed they were getting in the 2019 Draft as he threw five hitless frames.

"Yes I did know," Kirby said when asked if he knew of his no-hit bid. "I was ready to go back out for the sixth, but I had like nine pitches to work with so [the coaches and I] kind of mutually decided that I'd come out after five."

The club's fifth-ranked prospect was unhittable over five frames as he worked around a single walk and fanned a career-best eight. Kirby retired the first four batters he faced -- whiffing a pair -- before issuing a six-pitch walk to Jose Verrier with one out in the second. However, the right-hander settled in and still faced the minimum over five as Verrier was promptly caught stealing.

Kirby coasted from there, punching out Franklin Torres to end the second, beginning a string of four straight strikeouts. The 23-year-old never needed more than 15 pitches to navigate through any of his final three frames -- using just 10 to get through the fifth.