Mariners promote Rodriguez to Modesto

No. 2 prospect rises after posting .850 OPS at West Virginia

Julio Rodriguez collected 31 extra-base hits in 67 games with West Virginia. (Joe Williams/West Virginia Power)

By Sam Dykstra / MiLB.com | August 15, 2019 1:20 PM

Julio Rodriguez has shown plenty of Power. Now it's time to see what happens when he goes Nuts.

MLB.com's No. 53 overall prospect has been promoted from Class A West Virginia to Class A Advanced Modesto, the Mariners announced Thursday.

The 18-year-old outfielder is headed to his second level in 2019 after jumping straight from the Dominican Summer League, where he spent the 2018 campaign. This is the first in-season promotion of his young career. 

Video: Power's Rodriguez uncorks one to left

Rodriguez hit .293/.359/.490 with 10 homers, a triple and 20 doubles over 67 games in the South Atlantic League. Despite missing nearly two months with a hairline fracture in his left hand, he managed to be plenty productive -- his .490 slugging percentage ranks fifth and his 143 wRC+ is eighth among Sally League hitters with at least 250 plate appearances. Rodriguez's production has been all the more impressive considering he began the season as the fifth-youngest player on a Class A Opening Day roster. Upon making his debut, he will become the youngest player to appear in a California League game this season.

2019 MiLB include

Since signing for $1.75 million out of the Dominican Republic in July 2017, Rodriguez has quickly climbed up prospect rankings and sits at No. 2 in the Mariners system behind only fellow outfielder Jarred Kelenic. The right-handed slugger's hit and power tools are considered above-average and his arm is also an asset. Rodriguez has split time between center and right field, though his future likely lies in the latter position due to his merely average speed. 

The teenager's ascension gives Modesto its only current Top-100 prospect following the promotion of Kelenic to Double-A Arkansas last Saturday. Rodriguez joins No. 20 Joe Rizzo as the only other ranked Seattle prospect on the Nuts roster. Modesto sits six games behind Visalia in the California League North Division second-half race.

Sam Dykstra is a reporter for MiLB.com. Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @SamDykstraMiLB. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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