The future, for the Seattle Mariners, is now.
Outfielder Julio Rodriguez will be a part of the Mariners’ Opening Day roster.
Rodriguez, the third-best prospect in baseball according to MLB Pipeline, wasn’t awarded a spot: he earned it on the field.
“Julio Rodriguez’s spring: .419/.471/.839 slash line, 3 homers, 4 doubles, 8 RBI, 9 runs, 3 stolen bases,” USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweeted on Monday.
Julio Rodriguez’s spring: .419/.471/.839 slash line, 3 homers, 4 doubles, 8 RBI, 9 runs, 3 stolen bases.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) April 4, 2022
Rodriguez, who is 21 years old, will be completely skipping Triple-A on his way to the majors.
That is something that only really, really talented players can do.
Last season, J-Rod hit .325/.410/.581 in High-A, and .362/.461/.546 in Double-A, with 13 home runs between the two levels, in 74 games.
His potent right-handed bat is well-suited to hit for average and power: he should be able to hit well over .300 at his peak, and his power upside is somewhere around 20-30 home runs.
Rodriguez Is A Game-Changing Talent
He is seen as a potentially game-changing bat for an up-and-coming Mariners lineup that also has Jarred Kelenic, Mitch Haniger, Kyle Lewis, Abraham Toro, Jesse Winker. Eugenio Suarez, Ty France, and others.
Rodriguez will be entering a crowded outfield-designated hitter rotation: Kelenic, Haniger, Winker, and Lewis will all be vying for playing time with Rodriguez, who wouldn’t be coming to the big leagues if he wasn’t playing nearly everyday.
Lewis, at the time, is being eased back into things and won’t start the season with the big league team, so the logjam is solved for now.
Rodriguez is an extremely talented hitter who can help change the fate of an entire franchise.