Rodriguez's contract was selected by the Mariners on Thursday. Rodriguez will unsurprisingly be added to the 40-man roster to protect him from the upcoming Rule 5 draft. The 20-year-old advanced to Double-A Arkansas in 2021 and slashed .362/.461/.546 with seven homers, 35 runs, 26 RBI and 16 stolen bases. He'll likely be in the mix to make his major-league debut at some point in 2022.
Rodriguez will not play in the Dominican Winter League, Corey Brock of The Athletic reports. Rodriguez will instead remain in Arizona and Florida to train for the 2022 season. As expected, he has had a strong 2021 campaign with the Mariners' minor-league affiliates, most recently putting up a .362/.461/.546 line while striking out at just an 18 percent clip across 206 plate appearances with Double-A Arkansas. Rodriguez likely won't begin next season in Seattle, but a debut within the first few months of the campaign appears realistic.
Rodriguez went 4-for-5 with two home runs, one walk and one strikeout Friday for Double-A Arkansas. Arguably the top prospect in baseball, Rodriguez is hitting .378/.483/.559 with six home runs, 11 steals and a 33:26 K:BB in 172 plate appearances at Double-A. He has been 84 percent better than the average hitter in the league. Rodriguez will likely return to the Arizona Fall League in a month and seems poised to open 2022 at Triple-A before getting a first-half promotion to the majors.
Rodriguez went 5-for-8 with a homer for Double-A Arkansas in Thursday's doubleheader against Frisco. Since returning from a strong showing at the Olympics, Rodriguez has gone 8-for-19 (.421) in five games. With a composite line of .323/.414/.565 across 47 total games between High-A and Double-A this year, the 20-year-old Dominican has cemented himself as one of the top prospects in baseball -- if not the undisputed No. 1 prospect now that Wander Franco is in the big leagues -- and as long as he stays healthy, Rodriguez is a near lock to make his debut with the Mariners next season.
Rodriguez has gone 8-for-20 (.400) with a double, two RBI and a run thus far for the Dominican Republic at the Olympics. If you were wondering why Rodriguez hasn't appeared for Double-A Arkansas since July 16, it's because he's been away for the Olympics. Mariners GM Jerry DiPoto specifically noted that he wanted the elite outfield prospect to gain experience playing "with the urgency required to win championships" in the international competition, per Hannah Keyser of Yahoo! Sports. Rodriguez hasn't shown much power in Tokyo, but he's certainly been a catalyst for his club, which will face South Korea in the bronze-medal game Friday. Once the tournament wraps up, he'll return to the Double-A club, where he's presently sitting on a .910 OPS through 14 games.