Julio Rodríguez

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(Redirected from Julio Rodriguez (minors10))

Note: This page is for outfielder Julio Rodríguez who made his major league debut in 2022; for others with a similar name, click here.

Julio Yamel Rodríguez

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 3", Weight 180 lb.

BR page

Biographical Information[edit]

Julio Rodríguez was one of baseball's top prospects in 2021, having already starred for the Dominican national team. He made his major league debut at the start of the 2022 season and went on to win the 2022 American League Rookie of the Year Award.

He was signed by Seattle Mariners scouts Kelvin Dominguez, Eddy Toledo and Tim Kissner. [1] He made his pro debut with the 2018 DSL Mariners, hitting .315/.404/.525 with 50 runs, 9 triples, 30 walks and 10 steals (never caught) in 59 games; he had six outfield assists to two errors. He tied for the Dominican Summer League lead in three-baggers, was 5th with 115 total bases (between Joerlin De Los Santos and Felix Valerio), ranked 7th in slugging (between Victor Heredia and De Los Santos) and placed 9th in OPS (between Jeferson Morales and Axel Andueza).

Rodríguez produced at a .293/.359/.490 clip with 20 doubles, 50 runs and 50 RBI in 67 games for the 2019 West Virginia Power and .462/.514/.738 with 19 RBI and 13 runs in 17 games for the Modesto Nuts. He missed almost two months when his left hand was fractured by a pitch from Jake Wong. [2] Despite missing a significant chunk of time, he still was third in the M's chain in RBI, behind Cal Raleigh and Jake Fraley. Baseball America rated him as the #2 prospect in the South Atlantic League, behind fellow Power outfielder Jarred Kelenic.

He hit .288/.397/.365 with ten RBI in fifteen games for the Peoria Javelinas in the Arizona Fall League. Baseball America rated him as the #8 prospect in baseball entering 2020, Baseball Prospectus had him at #10 and Major League Baseball listed him at #18. The consensus was obviously that he was an elite prospect. Unfortunately, the 2020 minor league season was wiped out by the COVID-19 pandemic. The teenager did get to play winter ball for the 2020-2021 Leones del Escogido but looked overmatched for the first time - .196/.297/.250, splitting right field with Gregory Polanco, a MLB regular trying to bounce back from rough times.

The Loma de Cabrera native entered 2021 even higher on the prospect lists. Baseball America now had him #3 in baseball (behind Wander Franco and Adley Rutschman, just ahead of Kelenic and Spencer Torkelson) [3], Baseball Prospectus did as well and MLB had him at #5 (between Kelenic and MacKenzie Gore). [4] He began the summer well with the Everett AquaSox.

He took a break from Everett to play for his homeland in the Americas Olympic Qualifier, the youngster in an outfield that featured two-time AL home run king José Bautista (age 40), former 200-hit man Melky Cabrera (36) and fellow M's farmhand Luis Liberato (25). He proved to be the team's top star, though, hitting third and starting in right. In the opener, he singled off Luis Cruz his first time up, then scored on a Juan Francisco hit for their first run; he had two runs in the opening win over Puerto Rico. Against event champion Team USA, he singled off Edwin Jackson and scored the tying run in the 6th but the Dominicans lost. He was 3-for-5 with two homers and three RBI in a win over Nicaragua. In the Super Round, he had three hits and three RBI to beat Venezuela and was 2-for-4 with a walk, run and a RBI to beat Canada to advance to the Final Olympic Qualifier. His 9th-inning single off former Rolaids Relief Award winner John Axford scored Gustavo Núñez with the last run in a 6-5 victory. He hit .458/.480/.708 with 7 runs and 7 RBI in 5 games, while playing error-free defense. He led the event in runs (one ahead of Liberato, Luke Williams and Roel Santos) and hits (11, 3 more than anyone else). He also tied for 4th in home runs, was second in RBI (two behind Francisco) and tied Liberato for 3rd in total bases (17). [5] It was a far contrast to Kelenic, who he had been long paired with, who was struggling mightily in his first taste of the majors. Following the D.R.'s win in the 2020 Final Olympic Qualification Tournament (in which he was a more mundane 1 for 10 with two walks and two runs) [6], he was named alongside Kelenic to play for the American League at the 2021 Futures Game, then appeared in the Tokyo Olympics, being part of the bronze medal-winning Dominican team. In all he played 74 games in the minors that season, hitting a sparkling .347/.441/.560 between the Everett AquaSox of the High-A West and the Arkansas Travelers of the Double-A Central. He scored 64 runs, drove in 47, and hit 19 doubles and 13 homers in what was basically half a season.

He was a center of attention in the Mariners spring training in 2022 the question being when exactly he would be making the jump to the Show. He was so impressive that a few days before the season started, the team confirmed that he had made the Opening Day roster. He started his major league career slowly, batting .206 and slugging .260 in April, but on May 1st he blasted his first major league homer and it was a no-doubter, a 450-foot bomb against Sandy Alcantara of the Miami Marlins, part of a 3-for-4 game in a 7-3 win. In spite of having very good speed, he had never been much of a base stealer in the minors, until swiping 21 bags in 2021, but he was impersonating Rickey Henderson in the early going, being successful on all 9 of his steal attempts through 22 games to lead the American League. He was named the AL Rookie of the Month in May when he batted .309 in 28 games, with 6 homers and 17 RBIs. He won the honor again in June when he batted .280 with 7 homers, 16 RBIs and 22 runs scored. He was named to play in the 2022 All-Star Game and also took part in the Home Run Derby on July 18th, during which he belted 81 homers - more than anyone in the eight-man field - before losing the final round to Juan Soto. Still, his performance doubled his income for the year. On August 24th, he hit his 20th homer of the year and at the same time became only the fourth rookie in history to have a 20-20 season - 20 homers and 20 stolen bases - after Mitchell Page, Ellis Burks and Marty Cordova. It also took him only 107 games to reach the mark, the fewest in American League history; Mike Trout previously held the record with 112 games, but over two seasons. On August 26th, he and the Mariners agreed on a huge contract extension for 12 years with options for a possible further five years. The deal was worth a guaranteed $210 million at a minimum, and could reach up to $470 million. He finished the season at.284 in 132 games, with 84 runs, 28 homers and 75 RBIs, to go with25 stolen bases and an OPS+ of 147. In the postseason, he was 5 for 23 in the two series played by the Mariners, with 3 doubles, a triple, and five runs scored in as many games. He was a near-unanimous winner of the 2022 American League Rookie of the Year Award, receiving 29 of 30 first-place votes, and was also named to the 2022 Topps All-Star Rookie Team.

Before the 2023 season, he was named a member of the Dominican Republic national team for the 2023 World Baseball Classic, and was expected to be a leader on one of the tournament's favorites, in spite of his young age.

Notable Achievements[edit]

AL Rookie of the Year
2021 2022 2023
Randy Arozarena Julio Rodríguez tbd


Further Reading[edit]

  • Paul Casella: "Rookies of the Year J-Rod, Harris have future of game in good hands", mlb.com, November 14, 2022. [1]
  • Martin Gallegos: "J-Rod electrifies with 81 HRs in Derby debut: Mariners' 21-year-old star puts on show before falling to Soto in finals", mlb.com, July 18, 2022. [2]
  • Hannah Keyser: "How Julio Rodríguez, the Mariners’ prized 6-foot-3 rookie, got fast and became MLB’s leading base stealer", Yahoo! Sports, May 17, 2022. [3]
  • Daniel Kramer and Jesse Sanchez: "J-Rod era starts in Seattle as phenom makes roster", mlb.com, April 4, 2022. [4]
  • Daniel Kramer: "Julio mashes way to Seattle's 10th 20-20 season", mlb.com, August 24, 2022. [5]
  • Daniel Kramer: "J-Rod, Mariners agree on mega-extension into 2030s", mlb.com, August 27, 2022. [6]
  • Daniel Kramer: "J-Rod's debut season culminates in AL ROY Award: 'Oh my, we might be winning something,' says 21-year-old after Mr. Mariner delivers news", mlb.com, November 14, 2022. [7]
  • Daniel Kramer: "J-Rod's hometown throws epic AL ROY parade", mlb,com, November 21, 2022. [8]
  • Daniel Kramer: "For rising superstar J-Rod, what a difference a year makes", mlb.com, February 17, 2023. [9]
  • Daniel Kramer: "J-Rod balancing elite athleticism, unnecessary risks", mlb.com, February 27, 2023. [10]
  • Daniel Kramer: "J-Rod departs for Classic: 'A dream becoming a reality'", mlb.com, March 6, 2023. [11]
  • Manny Randhawa: "J-Rod gifts toys, baseball items, ambulance(!) to hometown", mlb.com, January 6, 2023. [12]
  • Jesse Sanchez: "Meet J-Rod, MLB's next superstar", mlb.com, September 2, 2021. [13]

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