Rodriguez continues to power West Virginia

Mariners No. 2 prospect plates career-high six on three-hit night

Julio Rodriguez's previous career high was three RBIs, accomplished most recently on July 20. (Joe Williams/West Virginia Power)

By Shlomo Sprung / MiLB.com | August 13, 2019 11:52 PM

The hits keeps coming in August for Julio Rodriguez.

The second-ranked Mariners prospect went 3-for-5 with a homer and a career-high six RBIs, but Class A West Virginia dropped a 10-9 decision to Delmarva at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium.


Gameday box score 


After striking out in the first inning, the 18-year-old came up in the second with the bases loaded against Dallas Litscher. Rodriguez was 1-for-16 with the bags full in his career, but he smashed the right-hander's first pitch over the wall in left-center field for a grand slam.

"He was struggling a little bit with his command," Rodriguez said, "so I thought he might throw a fastball and I would be ready to take advantage of it."

With one swing, he eclipsed his previous personal best of three RBIs.

"That was an amazing moment, to be honest," Rodriguez said. "There was no better moment to hit that No. 10."

The native of the Dominican Republic struck out against Litscher in the fourth, but he ripped a 1-0 hanging curveball from righty Adam Stauffer to left for a two-run double in the sixth. Leading off the eighth, MLB.com's No. 54 overall prospect grounded a single up the middle against righty Juan Echevarria for his third hit.

Rodriguez has hit safely in 11 of 12 games this month, collecting four knocks on Sunday against Lakewood. He's batting .411 (21-for-51) with two taters and 12 RBIs in August.

Lately, Rodriguez said he's been trusting his approach at the plate.

"Just swing at the better pitches," he said. "I know my swing's pretty good and everything. When I struggle a little bit as a hitter is when I swing at bad pitches. So I try to stay ready and swing at better pitches."

Before his performance on Tuesday, Rodriguez was 8-for-44 against Delmarva this season with a homer, five doubles, eight RBIs and six runs scored. He was 1-for-10 in a series against the Shorebirds from June 10-12, his first three games back after spending two months on the injured list with a hairline fracture of his left hand.

Rodriguez went down to Arizona to rehab and began swinging with one hand to maintain his strength and mechanics while the healed.

"It was weird at first, but after a couple days, I got used to it," he said.

2019 MiLB include

Rodriguez credited Seattle's rehab and mental coaches for helping him get back to health as quickly as possible.

"They set up my mind to when I get back, that I'll be ready to go," he said. "I put a lot of effort to get back healthy."

Rodriguez, who inked a $1.75 million deal with Seattle in July 2017, boosted his slash line to .296/.361/.496 with 10 homers, 49 RBIs and 49 runs scored in 66 games. 

Ryne Ogren and Seamus Curran both had two hits and three RBIs for the Shorebirds, while Orioles No. 29 prospect JC Encarnacion went 3-for-4 with a walk, a stolen base and three runs scored out of the leadoff spot.

Shlomo Sprung is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @sprungonsports View More