The J-Rod Show’s time in Everett is up.
Next stop: Little Rock, Arkansas.
After starring for the Everett AquaSox over the last two months, highly touted prospect Julio Rodriguez has been promoted to the Double-A Arkansas Travelers, according to the Seattle Mariners’ player development Twitter account.
Rodriguez is ranked by Baseball America as the sport’s No. 3 overall prospect and by MLB.com as the No. 5 overall prospect.
The 20-year-old phenom from the Dominican Republic batted .325 with six home runs, two triples and eight doubles in 28 games with the AquaSox this season. He leads the six-team High-A West in both batting average and slugging percentage (.581). He also ranks third in on-base percentage (.410).
Rodriguez had a particularly dominant stretch during the AquaSox’s first home series of the season back in May, when he blasted five home runs and three doubles in a six-game sweep of Tri-City.
“Had so much fun playing for the @EverettAquaSox,” Rodriguez tweeted Monday morning. “Loved the fans in the PNW… I’m looking forward for us to meet again… @ARTravs LETS GET IT NOW!!”
— Julio Y. Rodriguez🇩🇴🦁 (@J_RODshow) June 28, 2021
In addition to obliterating High-A West pitching, Rodriguez also played two recent stints with the Dominican Republic national team and helped his country qualify for the upcoming Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
At an Olympic qualifying event in Florida a few weeks ago, Rodriguez batted a scorching 11-for-24 in five games, with two massive home runs, seven RBIs, seven runs scored and a key sliding catch. His play helped the Dominican Republic to a second-place finish out of eight teams, which advanced the country to a final three-team qualifying tournament in Mexico last week.
Rodriguez struggled at the plate in last week’s tournament, going just 1-for-10 with seven strikeouts. But in Saturday’s title game, he made a spectacular diving catch in right field during the Dominican Republic’s win over Venezuela. With the victory, the Dominican Republic claimed the final spot in the six-team Olympic baseball field. It marks the country’s first Olympic baseball berth since 1992 and just its second all-time.
In 2017, when he became eligible to sign as a 16-year-old, Rodriguez inked a $1.75 million deal with the Mariners as an international free agent.
After excelling in the rookie-level Dominican Summer League in 2018, Rodriguez spent most of the 2019 minor league season with Single-A West Virginia before being promoted to Advanced-A Modesto in mid-August. He ended the season on a tear with Modesto, batting .462 with 11 extra-base hits in 17 games for the Nuts. In 84 games across both levels that season, he batted .326 with 12 home runs, four triples and 26 doubles.
Rodriguez’s development process was slowed last year by the coronavirus pandemic — which wiped out the entire minor league season — and a fractured wrist that he suffered less than one week after arriving at the Mariners’ summer camp at T-Mobile Park last July.
But after an offseason of rigorous training, Rodriguez had a strong showing with the Mariners at this year’s spring training. Facing major league and Triple-A competition, he batted .313 with two home runs and two doubles in 32 at-bats.
Rodriguez carried that success into the minor league season with the AquaSox.
And now, the prized prospect is just two steps away from the big leagues.
— Mariners Player Development (@MsPlayerDev) June 28, 2021