We have reached our Top 3 Mariners Prospects in our countdown of the Top 30 Mariners Prospects. Today, we look at the player with perhaps the biggest upside of any player in the Mariners organization in the past 15 years.
The fun thing about this Mariners team is that the statement about could be about 2 different players. But anyway, I digress.
As always, for a breakdown of our process in selecting the Top 30 Mariners prospects, read the primer by clicking here. If you want a breakdown of our first 27 prospects, you can go to the “minors” tab on the website, or click right here.
In addition, remember that our grades are based on the standard scouting scale. The scale ranges from 20-80, 20 being not MLB quality and 80 being a Hall of Fame tool. We also provide a probability score on a 1-5 scale, based on the likelihood they reach the 75% plateau of their upside. With all that in mind, let’s get started.
3. Julio Rodriguez, OF
It isn’t often that an 18-year-old kid who has yet to play professional baseball in the U.S. has the attention of even casual Mariners fan. But Julio Rodriguez is worth that type of attention. Signed in the 2017 International Free Agent Pool, the Mariners thought so highly of Rodriguez they gave him a $1.75 million signing bonus.
It doesn’t take long to see why Seattle was so taken by Julio Rodriguez. As an 18-year-old, Rodriguez already stands at 6’3″, 180 lbs, and is an excellent athlete. The expectation is that Rodriguez will continue to add strength, making his already plus power a tool with a lot of helium.
Typically, a player at Rodriguez’s level has plenty of raw tools who need to learn how to hit. While he still has work to do, Julio has both. He has an advanced approach at the plate. He understands the strike zone and can hit the ball with authority to all fields.
The organization loves the attitude, IQ, and work ethic of Rodriguez. In his pro debut, he hit .315/.404/.525 in the Dominican Summer League. He bashed 5 home runs, 9 triples, and 13 doubles in just 219 ABs.
Scouting Grades- Hit: 55 Power:60 Run: 45 Field: 55 Arm: 55 Probability: 2.5/5
Earlier reports indicate that Rodriguez will make his stateside debut this season in A-ball West Virginia, where he will likely spend the entire season before heading off to the Arizona Fall League. The Mariners have no reason to rush Rodriguez but the 18-year-old could force the issue.
Julio Rodriguez will spend the entire 2019 season as an 18-year-old and has a good shot to be in the big leagues before his age-21 season. Rodriguez is the type of prospect that is easy to dream on, and Seattle appears to have big hopes for the dream to become a reality.
The team is hoping that Rodriguez can turn into their Marcell Ozuna, and Julio Rodriguez has all the tools to make it happen.