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2022 Pacific Northwest Sports Top 10: Number 7

2022 Pacific Northwest Sports Top 10: Number 7

In our ongoing 2022 Pacific Northwest Sports Top 10 series, we move on to Number 7. Seattle Mariners rookie outfielder Julio Rodriguez is the team’s bright spot.

Julio Rodriguez is the most intriguing Seattle Mariners player right now. Only 21 years old, J-Rod, as he’s affectionately called by M’s fans, has really changed the look and feel of the Seattle Mariners organization. Not only them, but he may be the next face of sports in the Pacific Northwest.

The first thing that catches your eye is his smile. It’s infectious, and you can tell he’s having fun. For those of you who have been around long enough, you can’t help but see the correlation between The Kid and this kid. The attitude might be the only part of the comparison that fits, but hopefully, a winning mentality also comes with Julio’s presence.

He owned every level of the Minor Leagues. In 838 at-bats, he hit .331 with a .955 OPS. At AA Arkansas in 2021 (the highest level he reached), he batted .362 with a 1.007 OPS. Rodriguez never played a game at AAA Tacoma. He had a chance to earn a spot on the team right out of spring training this season because of his Arkansas performance.

Highly touted because of his minor league efforts, confidence, and teamwork, he spent three straight years as a top 10 prospect according to Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus. MLB.com ranked him #5 and #3 in 2021 and 2022, respectively.

The new MLB Collective Bargaining Agreement is designed to challenge teams to gamble on their highly touted prospect out of spring training. That gave Rodriguez his chance to skip AAA and start with the club.

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