Prized outfield prospect Julio Rodriguez and the AquaSox won four of six games in their season-opening series against Hillsboro. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Prized outfield prospect Julio Rodriguez and the AquaSox won four of six games in their season-opening series against Hillsboro. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

AquaSox update: A look back at the Sox’s season-opening series

Rodriguez, Hancock and others made their AquaSox debuts as Everett took 4 of 6 from Hillsboro.

The Everett AquaSox opened their season this past week by going 4-2 in a six-game road series against the Hillsboro Hops.

The series included the AquaSox debuts for several highly regarded prospects, a pair of extra-inning Everett victories and plenty of superb pitching.

Here is The Herald’s weekly AquaSox update:


The most exciting game of the series came in Sunday’s finale, when Everett rallied for an 8-7 win in 10 innings.

With the AquaSox trailing 5-3 in the top of the ninth, Connor Hoover launched a three-run opposite-field home run over the left-field fence to give Everett a one-run lead. Hillsboro then responded with a game-tying solo homer in the bottom of the ninth to force extra innings.

The AquaSox answered right back in the top of the 10th, scoring two runs to regain the lead. Julio Rodriguez, considered the No. 3 overall prospect by Baseball America, grounded a hard single up the middle to drive in Zach DeLoach for the go-ahead run. Rodriguez then stole second, advanced to third on a groundout and scored on a sacrifice fly by Tyler Keenan to give Everett an 8-6 lead.

Hillsboro plated one run in the bottom of the 10th and put the tying run on second base with one out, but AquaSox reliever Kyle Hill retired the next two batters to seal the victory.

It was the second one-run extra-inning win for Everett in the series. On Wednesday, Bellingham native Austin Shenton scored the winning run on a passed ball with two outs in the top of the 11th to give the AquaSox a 3-2 victory.


The AquaSox currently have six of the Seattle Mariners’ top eight pitching prospects on their roster, according to And this past week, Everett’s ultra-talented pitching staff showed why it is so highly regarded.

The AquaSox posted a 2.95 earned-run average, which was a full run better than the next-closest team in the six-team High-A West. Everett pitchers combined for 79 strikeouts and just 16 walks, while recording a 0.98 WHIP (walks plus hits per innings pitched) and limiting opposing hitters to a .188 batting average.

Brandon Williamson, a 2019 second-round draft pick and the fifth-ranked pitcher in the Mariners’ farm system, had a dazzling season debut Saturday. The 6-foot-6 left-hander struck out nine of the 15 batters he faced while tossing four scoreless innings. He allowed just two hits and no walks.

Tim Elliott, a 2019 fourth-round draft pick and the Mariners’ 15th-ranked pitching prospect, also had an impressive season debut. Elliott struck out eight of the 13 batters he faced while pitching 3 2/3 innings in Tuesday’s season opener. He allowed one hit on a solo homer and one walk.

Emerson Hancock, the Mariners’ top-ranked pitching prospect, threw two scoreless innings in his minor league debut Thursday. He struck out three batters, while allowing no hits and one walk. Hancock, the No. 6 overall pick in last year’s draft, is ranked by as the No. 6 right-handed pitching prospect and the No. 26 overall prospect.

Isaiah Campbell, a 2019 second-round draft pick and the Mariners’ seventh-ranked pitching prospect, also had a nice minor league debut. He pitched four innings of relief in Sunday’s win, allowing one unearned run and two hits. He struck out four batters and walked two.

Brendan McGuigan, Fred Villarreal and David Ellingson were among the other AquaSox pitchers who performed well in the opening series. The trio of relievers combined to toss 11 scoreless innings, while allowing a total of just two hits. They combined for 15 strikeouts and just two walks.


Rodriguez, one of the top prospects in baseball, batted 7-for-25 with one triple and two doubles in the opening series. The 20-year-old phenom outfielder went just 1-for-9 over the first two games, but recovered to go 6-for-16 over the last four. He played a key role in Sunday’s extra-inning win, driving in the go-ahead run in the top of the 10th before stealing second and coming around to score an insurance run that ended up being the difference in the game. Though he isn’t necessarily known for his speed, Rodriguez is a perfect 3 for 3 on stolen-base attempts in the young season.


Joseph Rosa started just three of the six games in the opening series, but is off to a hot start at the plate. He went 5-for-11 with three doubles and two walks and has reached base safely in seven of his 13 plate appearances. The 24-year-old, who is entering his sixth minor league season, leads the AquaSox in batting average (.455), on-base percentage (.538) and slugging percentage (.727).


The AquaSox host the Tri-City Dust Devils in their home opener at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday at Funko Field. It marks the beginning of a six-game homestand against Tri-City that runs through Sunday. After that, the Sox embark on a 12-game road trip.

Talk to us

More in Sports

Aquasox's Jake Anchia, left, and Connor Hoover high five after Hoover crosses the plate to score as the Everett Aquasox beat the Vancouver Canadians 11-6 at Funko Field on Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021 in Everett, Washington.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
AquaSox GM in favor of reported MLB housing plan

Multiple reports state that Major League Baseball will provide housing for all minor-league players starting in 2022.

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jacob Eason runs a drill during practice at the NFL team's football training camp in Westfield, Ind., Wednesday, July 28, 2021. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Former Lake Stevens star Eason waived by Colts

Jacob Eason, who also played at Washington, was a fourth-round pick by Indianapolis in 2020.

White line on Green grass sport field for sport concept
Prep results for Tuesday, Oct. 19

Prep results for Tuesday, Oct. 19: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

LSU defensive end Ali Gaye (11) gestures after a play against Mississippi State during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021, in Starkville, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Community roundup: E-W alum’s season likely over for LSU

Reports state Ali Gaye will have season-ending surgery, a new course record set at Snohomish and more.

New Jersey Devils' Ryan Graves (33) knocks down Seattle Kraken's Jared McCann (16) during the second period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Kraken end season-opening road trip with loss to Devils

Seattle falls to New Jersey 4-2 and finishes the first five games in franchise history with a 1-3-1 record.

Kevin Clark / The Herald

***Silvertips Special Sections*****
Yan Khomenko signals for substitution Sunday night at Xfinity Arena in Everett, Wa on September 6th, 2015

Sports:  Silvertips Special Section
Shot on: 09/06/15
Trio of Silvertips make NHL Central Scouting list

Forwards Ben Hemmerling and Austin Roest, and goaltender Braden Holt are listed among 45 WHL players.

Vote for The Herald’s Prep Athlete of the Week for Oct. 11-17

The Athlete of the Week nominees for Oct. 11-17. Voting closes at… Continue reading

Arlington's Holden Erken escapes a tackle and runs down the sideline during the game against Marysville-Pilchuck on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021 in Arlington, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
3 takeaways from Week 7 of prep football in Snohomish County

Arlington made a massive statement in its upset of MP. Also, a look at where league races stand.

Casey Bryant
Tips week in review: New broadcaster enjoys Everett debut

Casey Bryant called his first two games — wins over rival Seattle — since joining the organization.

Most Read