Seattle Mariners prospect Julio Rodriguez will be playing alongside Rays prospect Wander Franco and former Mariners’ closer Fernando Rodney
In mid-October, the Seattle Mariners announced that its 2nd ranked prospect, Julio Rodriguez, will allow him to play in the Dominican Winter League. Rodriguez will play for the Escogido’s and the league starts today, the 15th.
The outfield prospect has been in Arizona playing in the Instructional League but left during the middle of the league to join the Escogido Baseball Club to begin practicing. Rodriguez is still slowly working his way back into things after recovering from an injury this summer during summer workouts with the Seattle Mariners. He played pretty well in Arizona alongside Cal Raleigh and other prospects which is promising. Rodriguez will continue his development in the Dominican Republic alongside some big names.
One of his teammates is the number one ranked MLB prospect, Wander Franco of the Tampa Bay Rays. Franco is a 19-year-old shortstop in the Rays organization and was the prized player of the 2017-2018 international class. Franco is a well rounded switch-hitting shortstop and happens to be the nephew of Erick Aybar and Willy Aybar.
The Escogido Baseball Club will be drawing a lot of eyes with two extremely talented prospects. Franco is supposed to make a 2021 debut according to the MLB prospects list, and Rodriguez is projected for a 2022 debut.
There is also another person you might recognize in the Twitter picture above… That is Fernando Rodney on the bottom left corner. Rodney is now 43-years-old but he is continuing his passion for baseball. He was born in the Dominican Republic so it is no surprise that he is playing in the Dominican League.
Rodney who was famous for his “shooting the arrow” save celebration was a Mariners pitcher for two seasons. He was an All-Star for the Seattle Mariners in 2014 when he saved 48 games and struck out 76 batters in 66.1 innings. Rodney made his last MLB appearance in 2019 to complete a long 17-year MLB career.
The Seattle Mariners should closely monitor Julio Rodriguez and ensure he stays healthy while getting game reps. The last thing we want to do is aggravate his wrist or even his minor back strain from 2019. Both Rodriguez and Franco could be the face of the MLB in a few years, and the Mariners should be excited to have Rodriguez in the farm system.