Who Is Julio Rodiguez? A Closer Look At The Mariners' Rookie Phenom
The Seattle Mariners have some of the most highly touted prospects in all of baseball. Noelvi Marte, George Kirby, Harry Ford, and Matt Brash are all considered to be top 100 prospects in the MLB, and both Marte and Kirby are even top 30. Last season, the Mariners promoted Jarred Kelenic, a top 10 prospect at the time, to the big leagues and the hype surely followed. Unfortunately, things have not worked out well for Kelenic at the big league level, hitting just .173 with 17 homers and 53 RBIs in 123 games (between two seasons) with the Mariners. Kelenic was sent back down to AAA earlier this year.
However, the Mariners did not give up on their youngsters. At the start of this season, they called up #3 overall prospect Julio Rodriguez to the big leagues. Rodriguez, a 21-year-old centerfielder from the Dominican Republic, made his debut on the opening day of the 2022 season–and he hasn’t looked back since.
If you think Julio Rodriguez can win the AL Rookie of the Year award, then you should check out the odds on any of these Michigan Online Casinos.
Rodriguez has really been making the most of the opportunity given to him, hitting .273 with 7 home runs and 26 RBIs through 55 games. Tack on the league-leading 17 steals he has so far on the year, and all of a sudden we have ourselves a five-tool player.
Rodriguez was born in Lome de Cabrera, which is a small town in the Dominican Republic. Rodriguez signed with the Mariners at the young age of 16 for $1.75 million. Rodriguez went on to rake at the minor league level, hitting .347 with 13 home runs and 47 RBIs (and 21 steals) between the Mariners A+ and AA squads in 2021. In 2022 he skipped AAA altogether, and was called up to the big leagues.
Rodriguez is by far and away the favorite to win the AL Rookie of the Year award. Especially if his steal numbers continue to grow and he starts to flash more power, we could be looking at a rookie year, 30/30 campaign. Be sure to keep an eye on Rodriguez as the season continues–and if you want, you can even vote on him to be in this year’s All-Star game.